The Iraq Elections Commission Assigns Electoral Ticket Numbers
by Reidar Visser
The Iraqi electoral commission (IHEC) today held a lottery for electoral ticket numbers for the upcoming 30 April parliamentary elections. Although a rough picture of the coalition-forming process has been in the public domain for some time, the information released today provides the first official confirmation of the electoral alliances that have been approved for participation in the election, following certification of individual entities towards the end of last year.
It should be noted that at the time of writing, the complete and official list of political entities itself had not been published by IHEC, and that the following discussion is based on reports about the election list numbers given to key coalitions as reported by the Iraqi press. However, the picture that emerges is consistent enough. Generally speaking, it is a story of fragmentation in all political camps. The idea of a pan-Shiite list has hardly been on the agenda this year. Instead, all the major players run separately: Maliki’s State of Law (list 277), Hakim’s Muwatin (273), Sadr’s Ahrar (214), Fadila (219) and Jaafari’s Islah (205). A possible caveat concerns the Shiite-minority governorates (Salahaddin, Nineveh, Diyala). Lists sounding like variations of the Watani alliance of Shiites in parliament appear in all these places, and it could be a pan-Shiite list on the pattern seen in last year’s local election. Confirmation of this must await release of the comprehensive IHEC list and possibly even the candidate lists themselves, expected in late February or early March.
Similarly, what was once the secular and increasingly Sunni-backed Iraqiyya has now fragmented into a number of factions. Parliament speaker Nujayfi’s Mutahhidun got list number 259; Allawi’s list now just called Wataniyya or nationalism got number 239; the Arab Iraqiyya bloc of deputy PM Mutlak got number 255.
With regard to the Kurds, the situation is slightly confused because both political entity numbers and coalition numbers have been published. Of these, there is little doubt that Goran and the Islamists will run separately, but the rationale for publishing the entity numbers for KDP and PUK alongside various coalition numbers is not clear. Again, it is possibly better to await publication of the candidate lists to see what sort of alliances the Kurds are running within the KRG and in Kurdish-populated areas outside the KRG respectively.
For the time being, the information available is too sketchy to make very firm conclusions about the overall direction of the upcoming elections. For example, candidate lists are needed to determine whether all Shiite parties are joining a common sectarian ticket in places like Salahaddin and Nineveh, or whether just a few take part. Instead, ongoing developments in the Iraqi parliamentary debate may perhaps provide some clues. Firstly, the recent announcements of new provinces in Nineveh and Salahaddin catering at least to some extent to Shiite Turkmen audiences could be a suggestion about a move towards a more sectarian electoral climate. On the other hand, attempts to create a parliamentary oversight committee to supervise the election commission itself have been spearheaded by Sadrists and Kurds, with Muwatin and State of Law resisting. Whether the Hakim-Maliki relationship is still salvageable remains to be seen, but it seems fairly clear that these elections will produce no clear single winner, and that post=election coalition building may prove as important as the elections themselves.
Kurdistan: We will attend Thursday's meeting to read the draft budget
Said a member of the House of Representatives from the Kurdistan Alliance Najiba Najib, would attend the mass meeting of the five allocated to read the budget bill, adding that the differences on the federal budget between Baghdad and Erbil resolved in a constitutional manner.
She said Najib's (IMN), that "the Kurdistan Alliance bloc not an obstacle to adoption of the budget, and did not ask to postpone the discussion yesterday, but I contravention of the Presidency of the Council of Representatives of the rules of procedure and noted to him."
She said Najib is a member of the Finance Committee that "the rules of procedure of the House of Representatives presidency of the Council is required to refer the bills arriving from the government to the relevant committees for discussion, but that did not happen yesterday, so we objected to an illegal action for the presidency of the Council."
The Presidency of the Council of Representatives decided on the postponement of the first reading of the draft law on the federal budget to the session Thursday after political objections.
36 coalitions, 71 political entities participate in the coming elections
BAGHDAD / NINA / The head of IHEC, Miqdad Sharifi said the number of lists that will participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections reached 107 lists.
Sharifi said in a press conference to announce the numbers of political entities, participating in the upcoming parliamentary elections that these lists are divided by 36 coalitions and 71 political entity.
It is due to hold parliamentary elections on 30 April.
IHEC rejects parliament observation on its performance, warns from political interferences
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 11:21
Baghdad (AIN) –The Independent High Electoral Commission rejected the parliament observation on its performance, warned from the interferences of the heads of the political blocs.
The Deputy Chairman of the IHEC, Qatea al-Zubai, stated to All Iraq News Agency (AIN) "The parliament is an observatory side on the performance of the IHEC, but not on the logistic, artistic and practical sides because they are within the authorities of the Board of Commissioners and no one has the right to have this authority."
It is worth mentioning that the parliament Speaker, Osama al-Nijaifi, instructed the Parliamentary Legal Committee to observe the performance of the IHEC after the failure of the parliament to form a committee for this task.
Baghdad (AIN) –The Kurdish Change bloc has got 234 number in the draw of the Independent High Electoral Commission.
Jaafary's Alliance gets number 205
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 13:45
Baghdad (AIN) –The Reformation Trend headed by the head of the Iraqi National Alliance, Ibrahim al-Jaafary, got number 205 during the draw of the Independent High Electoral Commission to participate in the next elections.
Talabani's Alliance gets number 266
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 13:33
Talabani's Alliance gets number 266
Baghdad (AIN) –The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan headed by the President, Jalal Talabani, got number 266 during the draw of the Independent High Electoral Commission to participate in the next elections.
Distinctive number 222 goes to National Alliance in Salah il-Din
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 13:19
Baghdad (AIN) –The distinctive number of the draw of the Independent High Electoral Commission 222 was for the National Alliance in Salah il-Din.
Allawi's Alliance gets number 239, Barazani's Alliance gets number 213
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 12:43
Baghdad (AIN) –The Iraqiya National Slate headed by Ayad Allawi, has got number 239, whereas the Kurdistani Democratic Party headed by the President of Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, got number 213 during the draw of the Independent High Electoral Commission to participate in the next elections.
Breaking News… Maliki's Coalition gets number 277
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 12:33
Baghdad (AIN) –The State of Law Calition headed by the Premier, Nouri al-Maliki, has got the electoral number 277 during the lottery for the numbers of the political entities held by the Independent High Electoral Commission.
Breaking News… Ahrar bloc gets number 214
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 12:19
Baghdad (AIN) –The Ahrar bloc of the Sadr Trend has got the electoral number 214 during the lottery for the numbers of the political entities held by the Independent High Electoral Commission.
Nijaifi's Alliance gets number 259, Mutleg's Alliance gets number 255
An invitation to meet the fluctuations in oil prices
29/01/2014 08:47 01/29/2014 08:47
Called for an economist to cut government expenditures and taking the necessary precautions and find alternatives that Iraq was able to cope with fluctuations in world oil prices, the International Monetary Fund warned of the decline and its effects, which may be reflected on the financing plan for the budget this year.
He said economic expert, Dr. Majid picture that Iraq do the process of economic development for the purpose of diversifying the fiscal revenue of the budget and reduce the proportion of the country's dependence on oil revenues, pointing out that the world is affected by the conflicts existing economic between China and the United States, which plays a prominent role in determining the global prices of both gold The dollar and oil. predicted Suri drop in oil prices to 50 percent, or maybe more, what makes it imperative for the government to take preventive measures, such as reducing costs and finding effective alternatives to minimize the effects of fluctuations in oil prices on the current year budget.
Indicating that it should reduce dependence on oil exports from Iraq to be able to control the prices of goods and services that are imported which exceeded the amount of imports in 2012 exceeded 75 billion dollars. Carlo Sdraljevic head of the IMF mission to Iraq, he said: that the fiscal policy is heavily dependent on oil revenues and saw that this dependence is growing. He said in a press statement that this trend is worrying because the price of oil, which achieves a balance between revenues and expenses on the rise a few years ago.
Sdraljevic pointed to the lack of flexibility in spending, noting that there are many aspects of current expenditure and when they do not find him the government sufficient revenues to end up by reducing investment and this in turn affects negatively on growth in the long term - he said -.
Sdraljevic also said: that Iraq must ensure the independence of the central bank and the government's policy to keep the Reserve Bank's management is separate from the Development Fund for Iraq.
He said the reserves of the Development Fund for Iraq, which is used by the government for public investment projects amounted to 6.5 billion dollars at the end of 2013 from 18.5 billion dollars in 2012.
The IMF estimated in October that Iraq, which relies on crude oil exports to reap about 93 percent of government revenues he needs an average oil price of 106.1 dollars in 2013 to adjust the budget, up from $ 95 a barrel in 2011, due to increased expenses.
But Brent crude is currently hovering around $ 107 per barrel is expected to decline gradually in the next two years to $ 103 in 2014 and $ 100 in 2015, with supplies continue to enjoy a good market in light of the oil shale boom in the United States and increase the production of Iraq.
The IMF estimated that the budget of Iraq turned into a deficit of 0.7 Palmihmn GDP last year, the first since 2010, compared with a surplus of 4.1 percent in 2012.
Suhail: our banks to keep pace with the global development
Suhail: our banks to keep pace with the global development
29/01/2014 01:06 01/29/2014 01:06
Stressed First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Qusay al-Suhail on the importance of the work of banks in Iraq, according to a sophisticated strategy kept pace with global development.
A statement issued by the Office of Suhail media as saying in a speech during the Second World Congress on the financial and banks in Iraq, which concluded its work yesterday in Dubai that »there importance to the work of banks in Iraq, according to the strategy advanced keep pace with global developments in this area». Pointed to «the need to provide an appropriate environment for investment and to provide opportunities for projects in addition to government support ». and continued Suhail said» Iraq possesses human potential distinct in all areas, including the banking industry, which need to be developed in order to keep pace with the progress in these banking systems, and the banking system in Iraq need to develop legislation and contribute to the progress of work in which »
INTERVIEW-Fugitive Iraq VP warns Anbar conflict may spread over crackdown on Sunnis
Source: Reuters - Wed, 29 Jan 2014 12:12 PM
* Hashemi: Sunnis being targeted by Maliki government
* Expects conflict to spread due to crackdown in Falluja
* Says not safe for him to return to Iraq
By Amena Bakr
DOHA, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Iraq's fugitive vice president warned that an armed stand-off in Anbar province could spread to other parts of the country as Sunni Muslim opposition to Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki grows.
Stirred by a bloody raid to arrest a Sunni politician in the Anbar city of Ramadi, fighters of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and tribal allies took over Falluja and parts of nearby Ramadi three weeks ago at a time of rising Sunni anger with the Shi'ite-led government.
Tarek al-Hashemi, a Sunni sentenced to death in 2012 after an Iraqi court convicted him of running death squads while vice president, something he denies, has accused Maliki of pursuing a political witch-hunt against his Sunni opponents.
"I'm not optimistic about the future... I think this spark in Anbar will spread to other provinces," Hashemi told Reuters in an interview this week in his Doha office guarded by Qatari security men.
"Maliki is targeting Arab Sunnis [in Iraq] in different provinces, with the use of army forces, or handing them death sentences in a way that has never been seen before in Iraq's modern history, and therefore it's the right of these individuals to defend themselves in every way possible."
On Sunday, Iraqi government forces battling ISIL militants intensified air strikes and artillery fire on Falluja. The confrontation has displaced tens of thousands of residents.
Many in Iraq's once dominant Sunni minority, the main community in Anbar, share ISIL's enmity toward the Shi'ite Muslim-dominated government. But some tribal leaders in Anbar, a vast western province that borders civil war-wracked Syria, have been trying to steer a middle course between the two.
Iraq's U.S.-equipped armed forces have killed dozens of militants in recent days in shelling and air strikes, officials say. The scale of casualties among civilians, the security forces and tribal fighters is not yet clear.
ISIL has sought to extend its control into neighbouring areas, creating two desert entities that it refers to as "wilayah" (governed area). One is called the State of North al-Jazeera, outside the northern city of Mosul, and the other the State of South al-Jazeera, in the Anbar desert.
Hashemi, who divides his time between the Gulf Arab state of Qatar and Turkey, appealed to outside countries for humanitarian aid to "support the victims".
He said it would be "disastrous" if Maliki, in power since 2006, could win a third term if voters choose him in a parliamentary elections set for April 30.
"Today, we are objecting to Maliki not because he's Shi'ite. It's because of his flawed policy," said Hashemi.
"Maliki ... controls political decisions and the power to implement them and he also controls the judiciary system, stripping it of independence."
Like Hashemi, critics of Maliki say he has gained undue control over the army, police and security services using them freely against Sunni Muslim and other political foes, while allowing grave abuses in prisons and detention centers.
In the latest high-profile raid, security forces detained prominent Sunni lawmaker Ahmed al-Alwani, a supporter of anti-government protests and a strong critic of Maliki, at his Anbar home last month, sparking the latest violence.
Maliki says his Anbar fight is with al Qaeda, not with Sunni Muslims as a community. He lists an end to sectarianism and militias among his core principles.
The political struggle between Maliki and Sunni rivals in Iraq's delicate power-sharing deal intensified during the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops in late 2011, nearly nine years after the invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.
Hashemi said he longed to return to his homeland but did not feel safe to go back at this point. "There isn't a single square metre in any (Sunni) governorate that's safe for me to return to," he said.