HOPEFUL PROSPECTS: Iraq registers new protest parties for upcoming elections – but do they have a chance?

The planned parliamentary elections are considered the most important and potentially most dangerous in Iraq since 2003. This is because these will be the first elections since anti-government protests took place. Yet again, Iraq is at a crossroads.

By Mustafa Habib

The anti-government protests left hundreds of dead and ultimately forced the resignation of the government. The new government, led by current Prime Minister Mustafa al-Khadimi, announced that its first objective was to set a new date for federal elections.

Last Sunday, the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission, known as IHEC, suggested postponing the elections from June this year to mid-October. IHEC officials say that this would guarantee they were ready and that the elections would be free, fair and fraud-free. It would also allow more candidates to compete.  

The list of candidates will include, for the first time ever, political parties founded by some of those who led the anti-government protests.

Last Saturday, the leader of protests in the southern city of Nasiriyah, Alaa al-Rikabi, a former pharmacist, announced the formation of a political party called Imtidad, which roughly translated means “extension”. The name refers to the fact that the political party is an extension of the protest groups.

Somewhat ironically al-Rikabi was forced to make this announcement from outside of Nasiriyah, in the nearby city of Muthanna, because he has been threatened by armed groups there as have hundreds of other local protesters.

According to a source in the electoral commission, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media, there parties are around a dozen small that have been formed by former or current demonstrators. In total, 200 political parties have been registered with IHEC to compete in the upcoming federal elections. Some of these are new parties and some are independent but many of the small parties are actually offshoots of larger, ruling parties, the official told Al Menassa.  

“We have made great sacrifices and hundreds of us have been killed or injured, so it feels as though the revolutionary path we were on, to try and change the situation here, is no longer possible,” explains Murtada al-Khaikani, one of the protesters in Nasiriyah. “Because of how strong the existing political parties and their armed militias are, we have no choice but to compete in these elections despite our low chances of success.”

Al-Khaikani only hopes the upcoming elections will be fair. “If there is no fraud then we can already guess the result. The Iraqi people despise the political class,” he continues. “The strongest parties will only win a few seats and new parties, especially those that represent demonstrators, will win seats for sure. But nobody can guarantee there will be no fraud.”

So what chance do these new, smaller parties have in the face of large, wealthy political parties that are so embedded in the state? The latter possess enormous wealth and control armed factions as well.

The IHEC have said that voting will take place using a special biometric voting card. A few days ago, the electoral commission launched a national campaign to encourage Iraqi voters to collect their cards, which are apparently very hard to forge. The Iraqi government has also requested that the United Nations help to monitor the elections.

Iraq’s President Barham Salih held several meetings with the Prime Minister, the Speaker of Parliament and representatives of IHEC and the UN to talk about ensuring that elections were fair.  

It’s hard to know if they will be but a change in electoral law could be an opportunity to change the country’s political course.

The new electoral law, passed by the Iraqi parliament in December 2019, may favor demonstrators because it divides the country into 83 electoral districts instead of 18 provinces. So the contest will occur in smaller areas. It is highly likely that locals will elect people they know, rather than political leaders at a distance, many of whom do not have genuine representation at such a local level.

Local parties also have more of a chance of convincing locals to vote. At the last elections in 2018, only an estimated 44 percent of eligible voters took part and there were even campaigns to boycott the ballot.

Nonetheless the smaller parties still have a lot to fear from larger parties, who have amassed wealth over the time they have been in power, cemented their position inside bureaucracy and have armed offshoots that protect their interests. These larger parties have a lot to lose in a fair election that favors smaller newcomers.

“We founded our party a few weeks ago and it was registered with the electoral commission but we are afraid to organize any kind of ceremony because it could be dangerous,” the founder of a small political party in Baghdad said; they wanted to remain anonymous for security reasons. “We can’t even reveal the names of our candidates in case they are kidnapped or killed.”

And then finally, the protesters who have joined parties point out, what if they do win in the elections? Would the larger parties and established politicians even concede defeat? Who could force them to ?, they conclude.

Related Articles

140 Comments

  1. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.

    The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.

    nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you
    wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as
    exactly the same nearly a lot often inside
    case you shield this increase.

  2. Fantastic goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely great.
    I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it.
    You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it smart.
    I can not wait to read far more from you. This is really a tremendous site.

    My website … Keto Premium Shot

  3. I am really impressed together with your writing skills and also with
    the structure on your weblog. Is that this a paid subject or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the nice high quality writing, it is
    uncommon to peer a great weblog like this one these days..

  4. Ѕimply want tto say your article is as ɑmazing. The clarity in your post is just ɡreat ɑnd i cօuld
    assume you’re an expert oon thіs sսbject. Fine with your permissоn allow me to grab your RЅS feeԁ to қeep up
    too date with forthсߋming рost. Thankѕ a million and please continue thһe gгatigying work.

  5. Hi just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both
    show the same results.

  6. I keep listening to the news bulletin talk about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one.
    Could you advise me please, where could i acquire some?

    Here is my web blog :: Boltz Pro Reviews

  7. Whoah this blog is magnificent i really like reading your articles.
    Keep up the great paintings! You realize, a lot of individuals are looking around for
    this info, you could help them greatly.

    my web site :: Jibe CBD Gummies

  8. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the
    net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you,
    I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they just don’t know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined
    out the whole thing without having side effect , people
    could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

    Feel free to surf to my web site :: Tri-Bol Testo Pills

  9. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long
    as I provide credit and sources back to your website? My website is in the exact
    same area of interest as yours and my visitors would genuinely benefit from some of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this okay with you. Thanks!

    Also visit my website – Chillbox AC

  10. First off I would like to say great blog!
    I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.

    I’ve had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.
    I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips?
    Kudos!

    my webpage; Blast Portable AC Unit

  11. Wow! This could be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive
    across on this subject. Basically Great. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your
    effort.

    Here is my website – LiGenics Review

  12. F*ckin’ tremendous things here. I am very happy to peer your post.
    Thanks so much and i’m taking a look ahead to touch you.
    Will you please drop me a mail?

    my web-site … ACV Advanced

  13. Great goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to
    and you’re just extremely magnificent. I actually like what you have acquired
    here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it.
    You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it wise.
    I can not wait to read far more from you. This is really a great website.

    Feel free to surf to my web page – Keto Premium Shot Review

  14. These are genuinely enormous ideas in regarding blogging.

    You have touched some nice factors here. Any way keep up wrinting.

    my web page: Tomas

  15. Thanks for finally writing about > HOPEFUL PROSPECTS: Iraq registers new
    protest parties for upcoming elections – but do they have
    a chance? – Al Menasa < Loved it!

    My blog post: Tri-Bol Testo

  16. I do trust all of the ideas you have offered to your post.
    They’re really convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are very short for starters.

    May just you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time?

    Thanks for the post.

    My blog Keto Premium Shot

  17. I think this is among the most important information for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on few
    general things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really great :
    D. Good job, cheers

    Also visit my web blog – Tri-Bol Testo

  18. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with useful information to work on. You’ve done a formidable process and our entire group
    will probably be grateful to you.

    My web page Valencia

  19. Hi there to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one is getting more from
    this web site, and your views are pleasant in favor of
    new users.

  20. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this
    blog. I am hoping to view the same high-grade content by you later on as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own,
    personal blog now 😉

    Visit my website … drugwiki.org

  21. We wish to thank you again for the wonderful ideas you offered Jesse when preparing her post-graduate research and also, most importantly,
    for providing the many ideas within a blog post. Provided that we had known of
    your website a year ago, we’d have been saved the unwanted
    measures we were selecting. Thank you very much.

    Here is my web-site … Divine Dynamic Keto

  22. Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so
    I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m
    thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but
    I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you
    have any recommendations for first-time blog writers?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

    my web-site Vita Silk Lux

  23. Somebody necessarily assist to make critically posts I’d state.
    This is the first time I frequented your website page and up to now?
    I amazed with the research you made to make this particular post amazing.
    Wonderful task!

    My web site … Pharma Labs Keto

  24. I think this is among the so much vital info
    for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But
    want to statement on some common issues, The website taste is perfect, the articles is
    in point of fact excellent :D. Just right job, cheers.

    Visit my blog post; Slim Force Reviews

  25. Hello to every body, it’s my first go to see of this
    website; this website includes remarkable and genuinely fine
    information in support of readers.

  26. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your site?

    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could
    connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1
    or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    My website :: Minna

  27. I just couldn’t leave your website prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual info a person provide for your guests? Is gonna be back ceaselessly in order to inspect new posts.

  28. Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a totally different subject
    but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Outstanding choice
    of colors!

  29. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a
    amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you!
    By the way, how could we communicate?

  30. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this
    board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much.
    I hope to give something back and help others like
    you helped me.

  31. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I
    will be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back later in life.
    I want to encourage yourself to continue your great writing,
    have a nice weekend!

  32. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems
    as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just
    posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something
    informative to read?

  33. Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your
    efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thank you
    once again.

  34. Fantastic blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew
    of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about here?
    I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get
    opinions from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest.

    If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
    Thank you!

  35. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email.
    I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve
    over time.

  36. I really love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you create
    this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my very
    own website and would love to know where you got this from or
    exactly what the theme is named. Many thanks!

  37. It’s really a great and helpful piece of info. I’m glad that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  38. Hey there, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  39. You possess an one of a kind competence. Your authoring abilities are really effective. Kudos for uploading material on the internet and informing your viewers.

  40. Hi there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

  41. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything. However just imagine if you added some great graphics or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and videos, this site could certainly be one of the best in its field. Fantastic blog!

  42. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, great blog!

  43. My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on various websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard fantastic things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button