Jaafari Wins the Sadrist Referendum
Posted by Reidar Visser on Wednesday, 7 April 2010 11:00
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.
Just a few Iraqi wire reports to go by right now, but if confirmed this would seem to suggest that Jaafari has emerged in the “neutral”, compromise role that Maliki himself played in the UIA in early 2006 (Jaafari’s own bloc having been reduced to a single seat in the next parliament, held by him personally). It would also serve as a reminder of the problems involved in merging INA with SLA, whose break with Jaafari was other than amicable. Additionally, Jaafari’s victory highlights potential complications in the INA-Kurdish relationship: Back in 2006 he was the PM nominee that was “unacceptable” to the Kurds, which led to his replacement by Maliki (who in turn ended up being seen as equally “unacceptable” by many Kurds).
The full results are reported as follows: Jaafari, 24%; Jaafar al-Sadr (the son of Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr and an SLA candidate), 23%; Qusay al-Suhayl (a Sadrist from Basra), 17%; Nuri al-Maliki, 10%. According to one report, Adil Abd al-Mahdi (INA) and Ayad Allawi (Iraqiyya) did not achieve a significant proportion of votes but others say Allawi got 9%; Bahaa al-Aaraji (another Sadrist, from Dhi Qar), 5%; Ahmad Chalabi, 3%; Abd al-Mahdi, 2%, which would mean a relative success for Allawi among this segment of voters. Also, some reports have Rafi al-Eisawi, deputy PM and the Iraqiyya number one candidate in Anbar, at 2%, which is quite impressive given that he was not listed on the ballot and Sadr City is not exactly considered his home turf.
It should be added that the “referendum”, in which some 1,5 million Iraqis supposedly took part, was entirely impromptu and reports of children voting etc. have circulated. At any rate, the result is probably a good indicator of the stance and the preferences of the Sadrist leadership.
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