Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Final Results of the Iraqi Provincial Elections 2013

Posted by Reidar Visser on Saturday, 4 May 2013 18:05

The Iraqi elections commission IHEC today released the final results of the provincial elections on 20 April. The seat distribution, presented below with figures from 2009 in parentheses, largely confirms the picture that emerged from initial results.


Among the Shiite Islamist parties, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has lost some seats in some governorates but is still the biggest seat winner, with particularly strong positions in the governorate councils of Baghdad and Basra. Despite internal splits, ISCI has done a moderate comeback in several governorates. The Sadrists won back Maysan but otherwise are not making big advances; in Najaf, a local list is the biggest winner, exactly as in 2009.  It is noteworthy that the Shiite parties that ran together in Diyala managed to emerge as the biggest winner with 12 seats; this will certainly be seen by some as an indication of increased sectarian polarization.

With respect to parties associated with Sunni-majority areas, it is noteworthy that the Mutahiddun list headed by the Nujayfi brothers has emerged as the most formidable force nationwide, with more votes than competitors like Salah al-Mutlak and including a very respectable result in Baghdad. In Salahaddin, a local Sunni list emerged as the biggest winner, whereas in Diyala forces associated with Nujayfi and Mutlak joined together, though without beating the pan-Shiite list.

The traditional secular parties have fared poorly. Especially noteworthy is the decline of the Iraqiyya list of Ayyad Allawi, which has now only 2 seats south of Baghdad (Basra and Babel), and which was eclipsed by parties with more pronounced Sunni profiles north of Basra. Similarly, none of the breakaway parties from the Iraqiyya coalition such as Free Iraqiyya or White has achieved particularly good results. Similar to the various alliances associated with the Iraqi communist movement, these parties are reduced to isolated seats in a small number of governorates.

It seems worth mentioning that the Kurds lost a few seats in the two governorates where they competed (Salahaddin and Diyala).

The process of forming coalitions and new local governments now begins. In 2009, this lasted 3 months in total. However, in some governorates negotiations are already underway, with parties in Basra even holding press conferences for the announcement of coalitions and job distributions before the official result was ready! In Shiite-majority provinces, a key question is whether Maliki will this time turn to ISCI rather than to Sadrists as his main partner; in Diyala, there is the possibility that the pan-Shiite list may try to circumvent the biggest Sunni parties to build alliances with the Kurds and smaller Sunni parties. Whichever strategies are chosen, the effects on Iraqi political dynamics are likely to be huge – at the heated national scene as well as in places where the local elections were postponed (Anbar and Nineveh).

9 Responses to “Final Results of the Iraqi Provincial Elections 2013”

  1. Zaid said

    Some dyala residents are arguing that the results in their province are evidence of massive fraud. Does anyone have any thoughts?

  2. I have no specific empirical basis for suggesting fraud, however the numbers themselves are quite remarkable. Whereas the total Sunni/secular vote in Diyala has remained at around 200,000 in 2005, 2009 and 2013, and the Kurds have scored between 40,000 and 60,000 votes each year, the Shiite vote has grown from only some 50,000 in 2009 to a whopping 170,000 this year! It could of course be a case of extreme mobilisation inside the Shiite community to bring people to the ballot boxes. However, the combined Shiite Islamist parties received no more than 84,000 in 2005, which was also a year of Shiite mobilisation.

  3. Zaid said

    There was also some reported incidents of ballot boxes being burned in Dyala. After the initial reports, I didn’t hear anything else on this. Is there more information out there? Did such a thing occur?

  4. IHEC claims no “red flag” complaints in Diyala; only “simple” (basit) ones:

    The Nujayfi-Mutlak list, for their part, claimed more extensive fraud:

  5. AD said

    RV, any idea about how many seats Maliki actually lost compared to last provincial elections if you take away the Badr and Fadhila seats (given that they didn’t run with him in 2009)?


  6. Yes, please see the most recent article:

  7. Ali Bader said

    Maliki lost 80 seats, comparing with the 2009 elections, and the important thing, today, is the rise of small blocks to the political scene, this is without doubt a kind of progress!

  8. Not sure where you get that figure from Ali, if we include Shahristani in the Maliki camp which I think we should do for purposes of comparisons since they ran together in 2009 as well, then we are looking at 50-60 seats. At least some of the decline is due to the change of seat distribution formula from largest remainder to Sainte Lague since the former favoured bigger parties.

  9. Salah said

    This election or the last ones not can make difference on the ground. basically most of the candidates are promoting themselves driven by the benefit package attached to their new job.

    Time will tell and prove again this election also may be the coming ones will not fruits much or make differences inside Iraq and on for Iraqis, This will continued till people or sectarian oriented parties replaced with more peaceful liberal parties that leaves the difference and religion aside starting working for Iraq, at that time then you will get well organised election more truthful and democratic when candidates selected upon their merits, honesty for serving their people who representing

    دليل الأذكياء للنقاش حول العراق
    تاريخ النشر: الخميس 25 أبريل 2013
    «لا تناقش الأحمق أبداً لأن الناس لن يعرفوا مَن الأحمق منكما»، نصيحة الكاتب الأميركي الساخر مارك توين لا تنفع للأسف، عندما يدور النقاش حول العراق. فأكثر الحجج «ذكاءً» التي يتم تبادلها تعتبر «وضع العراق بعد الاحتلال أفضل من وضعه تحت نظام صدام حسين». قال ذلك ديفيد بولوك، الباحث في مركز دراسات الشرق الأدنى في واشنطن في مناظرة تلفزيونية عقدتها فضائية «سكاي نيوز». والسؤال الذكي الأساسي في تقدير بولوك هو مقارنة وضع العراق الحالي مع «نظام صدام حسين، والحروب المستمرة والضحايا بالملايين، من العراقيين ومن دول الجيران»! ويطرح بولوك بعدها الحجة الذكية الرئيسية الثانية، وهي «رغم كل المشاكل والأخطاء، لكن الآن يوجد أمل في المستقبل»! والرهان على المستقبل الذي يبشر به بولوك كرهان «الدليمية»، وهم سكان منطقة الدليم التي تضم الفلوجة والرمادي، وغيرها من المدن السبّاقة في إنقاذ العراق من عار الغزو، والسبّاقة في الثورة ضد لعنة الطائفية. وتقول النكتة إن «دليميه اثنين يلعبون على خط مرور السيارات السريع، ويخسرُ الرهانَ من تصدمه سيارة مرتين»!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: