Iraq elections: 83% boycotted… Al-Halbousi is a surprise… and Al-Maliki retreated
Iraq elections: 83% boycotted… Al-Halbousi is a surprise… and Al-Maliki retreated
The Iraqi government successfully completed local elections (provincial councils) after a delay that lasted for about ten years, and ended an administrative vacuum in local governments that began in 2019 when the government of former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi yielded to the demands of the “Tishreen Movement” demonstrators and took a decision to dismiss all governors in the hope of calming the street.
The Iraqi local elections took place under the boycott of the Sadrist movement led by Muqtada al-Sadr, which constituted a clear challenge to all political forces, especially the forces, parties and factions of the “coordination framework” allied with Iran, which saw the electoral battle as a battle to determine weights and sort out rules between themselves and the Sadrist movement, and an opportunity. To prove its ability to pass this entitlement without the participation of Al-Sadr, who has adopted the option of withdrawal and boycott since the decision to resign his deputies from Parliament in the summer of 2022.
Only 17% participated,
based on official statistics of voters’ votes in the early parliamentary elections that took place on 10/10/2021 during the era of Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s government. The number of voters for the Sadrist movement and its representatives in all of Iraq reached about 850 thousand, meaning that the movement has supporters and bases. Popularity does not exceed one million voters at best, in light of the possibility that some of them will not participate in these elections. However, it is common knowledge in Iraq that the base of the Sadrist movement is the group most committed to the directions of its leader, and it is difficult for it to disagree or fail to participate, especially since those elections were held based on the law of small constituencies and allowed Al-Sadr to obtain more than 73 seats and placed him at the forefront of the victors and first in the component. Shiite.
The Independent Electoral Commission announced that the number of voters in the local elections amounted to slightly more than 6 million voters out of 16 million entitled to vote who obtained a new “biometric” election card. While the number of people entitled to vote in all of Iraq exceeds 23 million Iraqis. Therefore, the participation rate announced by the Commission of 41 percent did not take into account the number of 23 million, but rather the number of 16 million who obtained an election card, because the percentage if all those entitled to vote are counted becomes around 17 percent.
Al-Halbousi’s surprise did not stop at the Baghdad borders. The great victory he achieved was not limited to Anbar Governorate, where he came in first place, but he was also able to participate in various Sunni and mixed governorates.
These elections revealed that the size of the boycott was wide and large, reaching about 17 million people, meaning that the battle fought by all forces, parties and political groups from all sectarian and ethnic components was taking place on an arena of 6 million votes, and at best 7 million if we add to them. Intersecting thoracic base.
Therefore, these results, although they allow these forces to control local governments in the governorates, face a more serious challenge in reconsidering the decline in their popularity and popular bases as a result of the negative performance accumulated over two decades, and in taking advantage of the opportunity provided to them by the law that does not take the participation rate. Popularity in the legality and legitimacy of the results to provide a different experience based on enhancing services and establishing real development in these governorates, ensuring a decline in the level of partisan and personal corruption that dominated the scene in the past at the expense of the citizen’s interests.
The surprise of Al-Amiri and Al-Khazali…and Al-Maliki’s retreat.
There is no doubt that these elections presented many surprises in terms of the results and representation achieved by the forces and parties within the various Iraqi components, Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish. On the Shiite level, and after all expectations were for the possibility of progress for the “State of Law Coalition” led by Nouri al-Maliki, the results were in favor of the “Nabni” coalition led by the leader of the “Badr” organization, Hadi Al-Amiri, who is allied with the “Sadiqoun” movement, the political wing of “Asa’ib Ahl.” Al-Haqq,” led by Qais Khazali. However, this progress of the “We Build” coalition does not negate Al-Maliki’s ability to remain at the forefront of the Shiite forces, because he ran in the elections in alliance with forces, parties, and associations, all of which fall under the orbit of the “Dawa Party,” of which he holds the general secretariat. While the “National State Forces Alliance” led by Ammar al-Hakim and former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi did not achieve a clear violation, it remained within the limits of competition between it and the civil forces that did not boycott the elections.
It is expected that these convergent results between the Shiite forces will reflect negatively on the mechanisms for forming provincial councils, as they may impose alliances between them in some governorates, and disrupt others as a result of the complexity of any alliance they may try to form.
The Independent Electoral Commission announced that the number of voters in the local elections amounted to slightly more than 6 million voters out of 16 million entitled to vote.
Al-Halbousi first in Baghdad.
The shocking surprise of the “coordinating framework” forces came from the results achieved by the “Taqaddum” party, led by the sacked Speaker of Parliament, Muhammad Al-Halbousi. He was able to break the prevailing trend over the past years and achieved first place in the elections in the capital, Baghdad, and imposed himself as a competing partner capable of controlling the process of naming the governor and the presidency of the provincial council.
Al-Halbousi’s surprise did not stop at the Baghdad borders. The great victory he achieved was not limited to Anbar Governorate, where he came in first place, but he was also able to participate in the various Sunni and mixed governorates in Basra, Diyala, and Nineveh, in a clear message to all those behind the decision of the Federal Supreme Court to terminate his membership in Parliament and remove him from the presidency of the legislative authority. Especially Al-Khazali, he said that it would be difficult to end his political career and remove him from the equation to which he returned strongly through the local elections.
As for the Kurdish level, the results that resulted in Kirkuk Governorate from the decline in the representation of the “Kurdistan Democratic Party” led by Masoud Barzani, who came second after the “National Union Party” led by Bafel Talabani, may push the Barzani leadership to reconsider its calculations and search for the reasons for this decline, especially in In light of the crises that the region is suffering from at the economic level and the popular demands and objections that have begun to emerge against the backdrop of rejection of the corruption that the Barzani leadership is accused of practicing in the region, and because the region will have a date in the coming months with parliamentary elections that may bring about a change in the size of representation for this party and lead to a decline. His grip on the regional government.
Iran and America…and the Sudanese
There is no doubt that the convergence of American and Iranian satisfaction with these elections and their results is because they are part of the efforts of both parties to enhance stability and continue the political process and expand the government’s ability to control economic and development decisions, in the interest of the parties supporting this government. On the other hand, the government of Muhammad Shia al-Sawadni and these parties and forces alike will be facing their regional and international obligations, which are considered the basic condition for the continuation of the American and Iranian umbrella for them.
On the one hand, the Sudanese government, after completing its legal and institutional mechanisms and reactivating the work of local governments (provincial councils), is supposed to put American demands among its priorities, whether related to stopping the attacks carried out by some militias and factions against American military bases in Iraq and Syria, or placing A clear mechanism to limit the influence of these factions within the official decision of the Iraqi state, especially since the Sudanese government had previously committed to the American administration to confront these actions and went far in its position when it described these operations as “terrorist attacks.”
On the other hand, the Iranian actor whose ambassador to Iraq, Mohammed Al Sadiq, was quick to welcome the results of these elections and consider them a victory that will contribute to enhancing Iraq’s stability and prosperity, will be obligated to maintain the balance of interests between himself and the American, who contributed to consecrating his allies in the “coordination framework” forces. Within the political process and maintaining their influence in the state and its institutions, thus deciding its options on the Iraqi scene and pushing in a clear direction to strengthen the building of the Iraqi state and its sovereignty over its political and economic decisions and its national interests.