Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Major Political Powers in Iraq Parliamentary Elections

Local Editor

More than 9,000 candidates are competing for 328 parliamentary seats across 18 districts in Iraq.
Iraqi elections

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is seeking a third term in power, with his coalition the State of Law, which is considered the front-runner in the vote, is competing with several political factions.

Shiite Coalitions

The State of Law Coalition consists of 12 political entities led by Maliki, leader of the Islamic Dawa Party. The bloc came second with 89 seats in the 2010 parliamentary elections, but later built a larger alliance with other coalitions to form a new government in a move that upset the leading Iraqiya coalition, led by secular former premier Iyad Allawi, which won 91 seats. State of Law campaigns to form a majority government and strengthen the central rule.

The Citizen Coalition consists of 20 political entities led by Sayyed Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a major Shiite political party. Former Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi is a member of the bloc. The Citizen Coalition adopts more moderate positions in its campaigns this time to expand its ranks and is considered a strong rival to the State of Law Coalition.

The Ahrar Coalition consists of three political entities is formed mainly by followers of the Sadrist Movement, led by Sayyed Muqtada al-Sadr. Although Sayyed al-Sadr has announced withdrawal from politics, the Ahrar Coalition continues to run in the elections.

The National Reform Alliance consists of seven political entities led by former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, leader of the National Reform Movement, a conservative Shiite Islamic party. The bloc calls for reforms but is considered to be close to al-Maliki's policies.

Sunni and Secular Coalitions

The United for Reform Coalition consists of 13 political entities led by parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi.

The Al-Arabiya Coalition consists of nine political entities led by deputy Prime Minister Salih al-Mutlak, leader of the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, a Sunni Arab political party. The Arab nationalist bloc's supporters are from Sunni-majority areas, but its influence declines in Anbar.

The National Coalition consists of 15 political entities led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

The Dignity coalition, which is sponsored by wealthy Iraqi businessman Khamis al-Khanjar, voices support for protests against the government.

Kurdish Coalitions

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), founded in 1946 by prominent Kurdish nationalist leader Mustafa Barzani, is one of the two governing parties in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. Its current leader is Masoud Barzani, son of Mustafa Barzani and president of the autonomous region. In the Kurdish regional parliament elections in 2013, the KDP came first by winning 38 seats out of the total 111 seats.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), was founded in 1975 by leading Kurdish politician Jalal Talabani, who is also the current Iraqi president. The PUK is one of the two governing parties in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. Talabani has been in Germany for treatment after he suffered a stroke in December 2012. In the Kurdish regional parliament elections in 2013, the PUK ranked third by winning 18 seats out of the total 111 seats.

The Change movement is a reformist Iraqi Kurdish opposition party founded by former PUK deputy leader Nawshirwan Mustafa in 2009. It has been popular in recent years and challenging the years-old KDP-PUK duopoly in Kurdish politics. In the Kurdish regional parliament elections in 2013, the Change movement came second by winning 24 seats out of the total 111 seats.

Source: Agencies


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