IHEC Publishes the List of Entities for the April 2013 Local Elections in Iraq
by Reidar Visser
The official deadline for registering political parties for next year’s local elections in Iraq on 21 April 2013 expired last Sunday. The Iraqi elections commission continued to handle registrations on Monday and Tuesday but has now published a list that looks more definitive in that it does not include the expression “registered until now”. This being Iraq, it is hard to be certain whether this really is the final list, but it is certainly the most comprehensive account available so far and a brief discussion of these 261 entities can be worthwhile.
It should be said at the outset that the publication of this list, while significant, is not a definitive indication of how the political landscape for the next local elections in Iraq is shaping up. The crucial stage in that respect is the list of coalitions, which on previous occasions has been published as late as one month before the elections themselves. What voters will deal with on election day, after all, is electoral lists, which can be made up of one party or several registered entities joined together on a list. A registration as a separate entity at this stage may well be nothing more than an expression of the hubris of Iraqi politicians who feel the need to have a political party of their own; as in previous elections a key question is the extent to which such hubris can be transcended for the purpose of creating electable lists and viable coalitions when the elections get closer.
With regard to the registered entities themselves, they fall in three main categories.
Firstly, there are all the well-known Kurdish parties. There will not be local elections in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) areas proper on 21 April although they should have been held long time ago. Smaller Kurdish parties claim the two biggest Kurdish parties are procrastinating. Nonetheless, all of these parties are interested in local elections in disputed areas outside the KRG, and as on previous occasions, it is likely they may coalesce into a single Kurdish coalition to maximize the vote. Kirkuk is outside the KRG but was excepted from the 2009 elections due to disagreement about the rules for ethnic representation.
Secondly, there are all the parties that in one way or another form part of or have recently split from the secular, often Sunni-backed Iraqiyya coalition. Most of the familiar sub-entities of Iraqiyya have been registered, and there are new sub-entities as well. Well-known entities include Ahmed Abu Risha of the Anbar sahwa, the Hadba party of the Nujayfi brothers in Mosul, and blocs associated with personalites like Saleh al-Mutlak and Zafer al-Ani. Some of the latest major breakaway factions of Iraqiyya are also running, including Wataniyun, Free Iraqiyya and the blocs of Ali al-Sajri, Iskandar Witwit and Kamil al-Dulaymi and the governor of Salahaddin. Also small sub-entities of Iraqiyya that have materialized very recently, possibly for the purpose of these next local elections, are running. They include blocs headed by Ahmad al-Masari, Talal al-Zubayie, Mustafa al-Hiti, Abdallah Hasan Rashid, Ziyad Tareq Darab and Adnan al-Jannabi. To some extent this fragmentation is understandable in the local election context, although it should also be seen against the backdrop of growing internal dissension in Iraqiyya over the past year. In an interesting expression either of chaos in the Iraqiyya camp or conceptual confusion regarding the difference between an entity and a coalition, Hadba and Wifaq are registered as separate entities but so are also the larger coalitions they sometimes form part of - Iraqiyun and Iraqiyya. In the case of Hadba/Iraqiyun, the Nujayfi brothers have registered for one entity each, whereas with Wifaq/Iraqiyya, Allawi has registered Iraqiyya and left Wifaq to a lower-ranking politician. A notable omission so far is the Iraqi Islamic Party, whose gradual disintegration would be complete if they fail to present lists for the 2013 elections.
Thirdly, all the familiar Shiite Islamist parties have registered as separate entities. This also includes several subdivisions of the Daawa party, including Tanzim al-Iraq and Tanzim al-Dakhil. It is interesting that in addition to Maliki ally Ali al-Dabbagh, Shirwan al-Waili is also running a separate entity. There are two entities combining the names “knights” (fursan) and “the law” (qanun). Parties with names like these have previously been described as extreme Maliki supporters, and one of them is indeed headed by Abd al-Sattar Jabar who was also involved in the previous incarnation of the “Knights of the State of Law”. The Sadrists, whose participation was in doubt and/or fragmented in many governorates in 2009, are this time apparently running on a straightforward Ahrar list. The Shaykhis (Shiite sub-sect) of Basra once more mobilise under Amir al-Fayiz, Similar to the situation with respect to Iraqiyya, there is also a State of Law (presumably coalition) registration in the name of Haydar al-Abbadi in addition to the Daawa registration under Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
The seat distribution list per governorate is also confirmed, with minor changes to the previous numbers from 2009. The next step now is candidate registration, with a 25 December 2012 deadline. Some kind of de-Baathification circus will most likely ensue, before the coalitions will likely form official list early in 2013. One should remember that when all this is going on (and with UNAMI enthusiastically cheering as representative of the outside world), the Iraqi supreme court has reiterated its view that current electoral law is unconstitutional and void due to the seat distribution formula and parliament has so far failed to pass the mandated changes. The court found out this irregularity after the ballots had been cast in the previous elections and it didn’t affect the outcome of those elections. This time a warning has been issued. It could be exploited by the powers that be if they are unhappy with the way winds are blowing.
Reidar Visser | Thursday, 29 November 2012 11:51 at 11:51
BAGHDAD / NINA / Iraqi President Jalal Talabani arrived to the city of Sulaymaniyah yesterday evening, coming from Erbil.
A presidential statement today 29, Nov said: "President Jalal Talabani held, during his stay in Arbil, a series of meetings and discussions with the President of the Kurdistan region and some Kurdish political leaders, on the developments of the political situation in the country. / End
BAGHDAD / NINA / Dhafer al-Ani, a leader of the Iraqiya coalition and the secretary general of the /national future gathering /, called the secretary-general of the United Nations to change his representative in Iraq Martin Kobler, for "his fail in managing human rights and democratization files in Iraq.'
A statement of the gathering quoted al-Ani as saying: "the UN is supposed to monitor the human rights and democratization process in Iraq, and everything related to foreign interventions in Iraqi affairs," adding that "Kobler became a bridge for Iranian's interventions in Iraq through the statements that gave legitimacy to Iran to interfere in Iraqi affairs, pointing out that "the Iraqiya believes that Martin Kobler is no longer eligible to be a representative of the United Nations in Baghdad after has lost his neutrality and independence."
Ani added that "Kobler infringed his main tasks, in which he was appointed in Iraq, whether political or humanitarian aspects."
He pointed out "that the country is moving towards authoritarian after looting / Iraqiya's/ right in the last elections and hitting the principles of the Government of the partnership, and we did not hear any statement from UN authorization for its vision for these things or its desire to correct the situation."
Al-Ani described Martin Kobler as " not an honest mediator in the relationship between Baghdad government and (Mujahidin Kalq) regarding their property in Camp Ashraf, but he was always being biased to the Iraqi government, and this puts many question marks about his impartiality and his behavior and his failure to fulfill his duties to protect( Mujahidin) as they are refugees in Iraq. "
Sirwan Ahmed: difficult to withdraw confidence from the Maliki being supported by Iran and America
Date: 11/29/2012 08:40:42 Thursday
Baghdad (news) .. Refer MP / coalition of Kurdish blocs / Sirwan Ahmed, why could not the political blocs to withdraw confidence from the Prime Minister to support Iran his intervention to back the Sadrist bloc for its decision, noting that America and Iran is supporting al-Maliki is difficult to withdraw confidence from him .
Ahmad said in a statement (of the Agency news): When political blocs agreed (a coalition of Kurdish blocs, and Iraqiya, and the Liberal block of the Sadrist movement) to withdraw confidence from the Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki evade some Iraqi MPs from this decision. added: also intervened Iran persuading the Liberal bloc for their positions and retreated from its decision to vote for the withdrawal of confidence. said MP for the coalition of Kurdish blocs to, that Maliki powered by Iran and the United States did not post the political blocs to withdraw confidence with him. The political scene differences multiple between the blocs, including about laws accumulated Shelving the House of Representatives, and corruption cases that have emerged recently, at the same time seeking the President to bring the views between the political blocs and the meeting of the national count him blocs to resolve the political crisis, including obtaining consensus on the adoption of laws broken.
Breaking News….Parliament session postponed to next Saturday due to heated debate
Thursday, 29 November 2012 12:33 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) –The parliament postponed its Thursday session to next Saturday due to a heated debate during the session.
Parliamentary source stated to AIN "The Speaker, Osama al-Nijaifi, decided to lift the session to a heated debate among a number of MPs during the session that hinder the continuity of the session," without clarifying the reasons behind the debate.
It was decided to hold the session on Thursday to read and vote on a number of law drafts.
Urgent….Death verdicts issued against 4 among Hashimi's guards
Thursday, 29 November 2012 12:47 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) –The Iraqi Central Criminal Court issued death verdicts against four among the guards of the death sentenced, Tariq al-Hashimi, who faces several death verdicts in absentia.
The spokesman of the Supreme Judicial Council, Abdul Satar al-Birqdar, stated to AIN "The ICCC issued the capital punishment against four of Hashimi's guards."
The Iraqi Central Criminal Court issued the fourth death sentences against Hashimi and number of the his guards for charges related to terrorism.
Judicial source stated to AIN "The ICCC issued capital penalty against six among Hashimi's guards for charges of supplying a car bomb to be detonated in al-Madaan area of southern Baghdad targeting the pilgrims heading to Karbala province on Ashura occasion."
Earlier, the Central Criminal Court issued a third death sentence in absentia against the judicially wanted Vice President, Tariq al-Hashimi, on last Sunday.
Before that the ICCC issued a second verdict of death penalty against the judicially wanted Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi.
It is worth to mention that the ICCC has issued in last Sept, 9th the first death sentence against Hashimi in absentia and the Director of his office Ahmed Qahtan.
Barzani, Abdul Mahdi discuss updates of political crisis
Thursday, 29 November 2012 11:22 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) –The President of Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, and the leader within the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, Adil Abdul Mahdi, discussed the updates of the political crisis.
A statement by the KR Presidency received by AIN cited "Barzani received the Abdul Mahdi and the leader within the SIIC, Mihsin al-Hakim, at Salah-il-Din Resort where he listened to the vision of the SIIC over the impediments that hinder the political process."
"Both sides stressed the necessity of the positive dialogue among the political sides to reach fundamental solution for all the disputes according to the constitution and the former concluded agreements," the statement added.
"They also confirmed the significance of sustaining success of the political process in Iraq to ensure national unity and to present the basic services to Iraqis," the statement concluded.
Kurdish MP calls to reach final solution for all pending issues between CG, KRG
Thursday, 29 November 2012 10:50 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) -The Kurdistani Alliance stressed that the current problems between the Iraqi Central Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government is very serious, therefore the agreement that was reached recently upon settling the issue of the military deployment in the disputed areas would help avoid the fighting between both sides.
The Spokesperson of the KA, Muayed al-Tayeb, stated to AIN "The two sides are supposed to resolve all the pending issues and pay attention to the seriousness of the military deployment in the disputed areas so we hope to reach final solution for those issues."
"The agreement they reached represents a complement for 2009 agreement," he added pointing out "The most important point they agreed upon is to get the army out of the disputed areas and leave the security for the internal security forces."
Hamoudi rules out relieving Iraqi from 7th Chapter at current stage
Thursday, 29 November 2012 09:37 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) –The head of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee, Humam Hamoudi, ruled out relieving Iraq from the 7th Chapter of the UN Charter at the current stage.
He stated to All Iraq News Agency (AIN) "There are developments in this regard that could be considered as positive indicators," noting that "Relieving Iraq from the 7th Chapter will not be accomplished soon as it needs time."
Iraq is still under the 7th Chapter that consists of 13 articles due to some pending issues.
Hamoudi concluded "The Ministerial delegation that is visiting Kuwait currently discuss exclusively the issue of the Iraqi Airlines to express the seriousness of the Iraqis stance to end this issue as well as other pending issues between the two countries."
It is worth mentioning that Kuwait denied calling Iraq to directly pay the compensations over the Iraqi Airways issue.
The Kuwaiti Ambassador to Iraq, Ali al-Moumin, stated to All Iraq News Agency (AIN) "Kuwait did not call Iraq to direly pay the compensations over its debts related to the Iraqi Airways and Kuwait is adherent to all the deals with Iraq regarding the compensations where the interest of Iraq will be one of our priorities."
Earlier, a source within the Iraqi Transportation Ministry stated to (AIN) that "A delegation of the Ministry headed by the head of the advisor of the Prime Minister, Fadhil Jawad, to Kuwait to discuss the pending issues in the Airways file where Kuwait hesitated in applying the latest deal with Iraq in this issue."