Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Additional Political Entities Are Approved for the Iraq 2014 Parliamentary Elections

Posted by Reidar Visser on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 23:37

The Iraqi elections commission IHEC has now released a second PDF file of political entities approved to run in the April 2014 parliamentary elections. This list seems to be the final one after an initial list presented on the day when the deadline for registering parties expired seemed to contain some lacunae.

The list includes some big players that were absent in the first list. In addition to the Kurdish KDP, there is the Hiwar party of Saleh al-Mutlak from the Iraqiyya coalition and the Reform bloc of Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the former Shiite Islamist prime minister.

There are also further indications of persistent sub-division in Iraqiyya and the State of Law bloc of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki alike. Registering as separate tickets are Wathab Shakir (previously Unity of Iraq/Iraqiyya), Umar al-Jibburi (running independently in Kirkuk), Ali al-Sajri (previously Unity of Iraq)  and Saad al-Mutalabi (reckoned as a Maliki ally).

Other Shiite players with their own entities include former oil minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum, Basra secularist and sometimes autonomist Wael Abd al-Latif, as well as the tribal figure Karim al-Muhammadawi (“Lords of the Marshes”) whose party, Hizbollah, is unconnected with its Lebanese namesake.

The next milestone is now the deadline for forming coalitions next week. It is quite remarkable that despite the regional and sectarian tensions brought about by the Syrian crisis, Iraqi Shiites are in no rush to form a unified alliance, quite unlike the situation in 2009. As of today, it seems more likely that there will be a Maliki front and one or two challenging coalitions. Such a scenario would in itself send a positive message at a time when political violence continues at an elevated level.

5 Responses to “Additional Political Entities Are Approved for the Iraq 2014 Parliamentary Elections”

  1. “unlike the situation in 2009”
    I don’t think so.. It is like 2009 and the same “film” is playing all over again. Each party has key members with tight strings to the neighbor’s fingers, when the time comes the key people will pull together. You wrote about it.. remember?

  2. Thanks Faisal. Yes I remember INA pushing for a great Shiite alliance in 2009, especially during the days beore Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim died in August. Back then, ISCI and the Sadrists were heaping pressure on Maliki to join their alliance. Where is that pressure today?

  3. faisalkadri said

    Something changed after the elections which made it unnecessary to join forces at an early stage, now they know that they can form kutla after the results, there was pressure then because the position was not certain.

  4. Now, that is true, and it means that those seeking to affect the outcome by means of violence may even decide to wait until after the elections before they intensify their efforts.

  5. Not sure how likely violence will go down. The formula is simple, the more people feel insecure the more likely they will vote along sectarian lines, Durkheim explained it 100 years ago, it works every time.

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