Iraq and Gulf Analysis

The New Political Balance of the Iraqi Parliament

Posted by Reidar Visser on Monday, 20 February 2012 12:42

There are numerous reasons to try to make an update on exactly how many deputies each of the main political blocs in the Iraqi parliament really controls. Subsequent to the resumption of meaningful parliamentary business in November 2010 – 8 months after the parliamentary elections in March that year – the Iraqi national assembly has seen a string of replacements of candidates for a variety of reasons, as well as cases of very public defections from some of the biggest entities in parliament. With a showdown about the annual budget right around the corner, it makes sense to take stock of the new political balance… Full story here.

7 Responses to “The New Political Balance of the Iraqi Parliament”

  1. Probably the single most frustrating thing for an analyst of Iraqi politics is this topic – keeping straight how many MPs blocs have, and in some cases, who belongs to what. Iraqi sources, as you know, are rife with contradictions. This helps all of us.

    One piece of color I would add to the point about not viewing Ali al-Sajri as Iraqyia – he has his own party, “The People’s Current” (تيار الشعب), which predated his joining the newly formed Iraqi National Movement (or “Iraqiya”) in November 2009. And no sooner had he joined it that he had a nasty break with Allawi and Salih Mutlak when he accused the two of them of taking $100,000 from Gulf states and thus not really being “national” figures. He also had bad relations with Jawad Bolani before they replaced Sajri with him, which made that move doubly offensive. So not only is Sajri relatively pro-Maliki for a Sunni, as you say, but he is also intensely anti-Allawi. So I’d count him as an independent bloc, all to himself, as opposed to a sub-faction of Iraqiya.

  2. Reidar Visser said

    Just to be clear, I ended up putting Sajri in the Iraqiyya breakaway faction group in the above computation.

  3. Salah said

    The problem with Iraqi politics it’s the shadowy parties or groups, as you may noticed you get parties splits, give birth to new group and then those claims they are new group or parties but all in all they have not much differences with their mother party. You see with Da’awa, Hakeem and Iraqis.

    These groups or new parties not follow clear lines of creation and get to politics then got place in parliament under ” Muhasasah”

    Today in the news we have new group under the sun!
    منظمة وزراء العراق”: تجمع سياسي جديد يعقد اجتماعه التأسيسي في مكتب الوائلي

  4. Mohammed said

    Hi Reidar:

    Do you happen to know the break-down along party lines of attendance in parliament (not including recent Iraqiya boycott?). Even a rough breakdown (for both excused and un-excused abstentees) would be appreciated.


  5. Reidar Visser said

    Mohammed, the problem is 90% of absenteeism is not recorded by name, viz:

    The 10% that are registered – and my suspicion is that this represents the minority that has valid reasons for not being present – is distributed across the blocs as far as I can recall.

  6. adrian said

    Hi Reidar,

    Interested in this: “Arabic tribal terminology which beautifully expresses organizational hierarchy”. Is there a formal list in Arabic that is generally acceped

  7. Reidar Visser said

    Adrian, I wouldn’t want to pose an expert on that subject, and there is certainly no such thing as a certified list. But I think many would agree that there is a notion of hierarchy ranging from confederation (qabila) via tribe (ashira) to tribal sub-units at different levels (fakhad, bayt).

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