Iraqi parliamentary election, 2010: Wikis

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2005 (Dec) Iraq 2014 ›
Iraqi parliamentary election, 2010
All 325 seats to the Council of Representatives of Iraq
7 March 2010
Nouri al-Maliki with Bush, June 2006, cropped.jpg Ibrahim al-Jaafari2.jpg Allawi1.jpg
Leader Nouri al-Maliki Ibrahim al-Jaafari Iyad Allawi
Party State of Law Coalition National Iraqi Alliance al-Iraqiyya
Last election 13 117 36

Prime Minister-designate
TBD

A parliamentary election was held in Iraq on 7 March 2010.

The election decided the 325 members of the Council of Representatives of Iraq who will elect the Prime Minister of Iraq and the President of Iraq. The election was planned for the same day as a referendum on the Status of Forces Agreement.[1][2]

The necessary election law was only passed on November 8, 2009, and the UN Mission in Iraq, which is helping with the elections, estimated that it needed 90 days to plan for the election.[3][4] The electoral commission asked for a delay from the original date of 15 January.[5] Iraqi Vice President Tariq Al-Hashimi vetoed the election law on 18 November 2009, delaying the election, which was originally scheduled for January 21.[6]

Contents

Electoral system

Prior to the election, the Supreme Court in Iraq ruled that the existing electoral rule was unconstitutional. The parliament therefore set about drafting a new electoral law.[4]

The Iraqi cabinet approved a draft elections law in September 2009. However, it took two months and ten delays for the law to pass in the Council of Representatives. The main areas of dispute concerned the "open list" electoral system and the voters roll in Kirkuk Governorate, which Arab and Turkmen parties alleged had been manipulated by the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq.[3]

Example open list ballot paper from the Netherlands with parties across the top and individuals listed down the page

Open lists

UNAMI advised the electoral system was changed to allow people to vote for individuals as well as party lists under the open list form of proportional representation. The last national elections had used a closed list system, but the Iraqi governorate elections of 2009 had used open lists.[7] The move was initially supported by parliamentarians from ISCI, and the most senior Iraqi Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, warned that failure to adopt the open list system would have "negative impacts on the democratic process" and would reduce turnout and aides said he may call for a boycott of the polls if closed lists were used again.[8][9] Over 1,000 people demonstrated against closed lists throughout the country.[10] In the end, all parties except for the Kurdistani Alliance agreed to support open lists which was adopted.[3]

Kirkuk governorate

Location of Kirkuk Governorate (blue) with Iraqi Kurdistan shown in red
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In Kirkuk Governorate, it was proposed to use old 2004 electoral rolls. However, Kurds protested about this, given the large number of Kurdish people who had settled there since then. UNAMI then proposed that Kirkuk be divided into two or more ethnic constituencies, with the Kurdish constituency given an automatic quota of 50% plus one. When put to parliament, this proposal was blocked by Arab MPs, causing a deadlock. The issue was referred to the Political Council for National Security, which comprises the President, Prime Minister and party leaders.[11] The Council proposed to combine the electoral rolls from 2004 and 2009, but when this was put to parliament, it was blocked by Kurds. UNAMI then proposed using the 2009 records but revisiting for future elections.[12] When put to a vote the Kurdish MPs walked out, leaving the parliament without a quorum.[13] The final law said that the results in Kirkuk - and other governorates where the rolls were deemed "dubious" - would be provisional, subject to review within the first year by a committee formed out of the electoral commission, parliament, government and UNAMI, which could cancel fraudulent ballots. The law was passed by a vote of 141 to 54, with 80 members absent.[3]

Seat allocation

The law increased the size of the Council from 275 to 325 members - equal to one seat per 100,000 voters, as specified in the Constitution of Iraq.[14][15] As with the December 2005 election, seats will be allocated by governorate with additional "compensatory" seats allocated to those parties whose national share of the vote isn't reflected in the seats won at the governorate level. The votes of Iraqis living abroad would originally have been counted in the compensatory seats, which were reduced from 45 seats to 16 and eight of these 16 seats were allocated to specific national minorities - five for Iraqi Christians and one each for Yazidis, Shabak and Mandaeans.[14]

Iraqi Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi said the small number of compensatory seats discriminated against the estimated 2 million Iraqi refugees, many of whom are Sunni Arabs like al-Hashimi.[14] He demanded that the number of compensatory seats be increased to 15% (48) and went on national television to say he would veto the law if it weren't amended.[6] Sunni Arab parliamentarian Saleh al-Mutlaq said 30 seats should be allocated to Iraqis abroad to reflect their numbers. President Jalal Talabani also supported the increase to 15%, after receiving a letter from Kurdish regional MPs saying their allies from minority groups would be unfairly treated.[16] In the event President Talabani and Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi signed the law despite their concerns, but Hashimi followed through his threat and vetoed it.[17]

Parliament asked the Supreme Federal Court for advice, and it issued a statement saying that "all Iraqis, whether they live in the country or outside its borders, should be represented in the parliament." [18] There was some confusion over this statement with the head of the legal affairs committee interpreted this as annulling the veto. However, Ayad al-Samarrai, the parliamentary speaker said the statement was not binding on parliament because it was advice rather a ruling in response to a complaint.[19] Parliament therefore met to consider the law again. Hundreds of supporters of the Prime Minister held demonstrations against the veto in Najaf, Basra and Wasit.[20][21][22]

The President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, then threatened to boycott the election if the representation of the three provinces in Kurdistan wasn't increased. The provinces had only gained three of the 77 additional seats.[23]

When the Iraqi Parliament met again they amended the law to provide that Iraqis abroad would vote in the governorate they lived before they left the country.[24] The number of seats per governorate was then changed to increase all governorates by a fixed 2.8% over the 2005 population figures - meaning Kurdish areas got more seats but Sunni Arab areas got fewer.[25] Analysts said Hashemi had "played poker and lost" and an MP from a rival Sunni Arab party said he should go and apologize to the governorates that had lost out.[26] Tribal leaders in the Sunni Arab city of Tikrit threatened to call for a poll boycott if the amended law went through and Hashemi said he would veto again.[27]

Internally displaced people will only be allowed to vote where their ration card was issued, a provision that Taha Daraa, MP for the United Iraqi Alliance in Diyala, said discriminated against them and was unconstitutional. He called on the constitutional court to strike down the provision.[14]

Head of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), Faraj Al Haydari, announced that curfew will be imposed and airports closed on the day of elections.[28] The head of the IHEC electoral directorate, Haydar Al Abboudi, said he hoped to announce the results of elections three days later.[28]

Seat Allocations

The council agreed to increase the number of seats from 275 to 325. With this, the number of seats allocated to each governorate were changed from 2005 elections. Source[29] and [30]

Governorate Coalition Seats 2010 Seats 2005 In/de-creased by Percentage in/de-crease Registered voters
Baghdad Governorate
Total 68 59 9 15.3 % 4,599,000
Salah ad Din Governorate
Total 12 8 4 50.0 % 696,000
Diyala Governorate
Total 13 10 3 30.0 % 840,000
Wasit Governorate
Total 11 8 3 37.5 % 638,000
Maysan Governorate
Total 10 7 3 42.9 % 561,000
Basra Governorate
Total 24 16 8 50.0 % 1,466,000
Dhi Qar Governorate
Total 18 12 6 50.0 % 993,000
Al Muthanna Governorate
Total 7 5 2 40.0 % 379,000
Al-Qādisiyyah Governorate
Total 11 8 3 37.5 % 619,000
Babil Governorate
Total 16 11 5 45.5 % 961,000
Karbala Governorate
Total 10 6 4 66.7 % 564,000
Najaf Governorate
Total 12 8 4 50.0 % 696,000
Al Anbar Governorate
Total 14 9 5 55.6 % 802,000
Ninawa Governorate
Total 31 19 12 63.2 % 1,702,000
Duhok Governorate
Total 10 7 3 42.9 % 574,000
Erbil Governorate
Total 14 13 1 07.7 % 917,000
Kirkuk Governorate
Total 12 9 3 33.3 % 787,000
As Sulaymaniyah Governorate
Total 17 15 2 13.3 % 1,098,000
Compensatory seats
Total 7 45 -38 -15.6 %
Minorities
Total 8 0 8 100 %
Total 325 275 50 18.2 %

Coalitions

Previous election result

The United Iraqi Alliance, made up primarily of religious Shi'ite parties, won 128 out of 275 seats in the previous election and was the largest party in the parliament. The list split into two lists for this election: the State of Law Coalition of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the National Iraqi Alliance, which included most of the other parties.

National Iraqi Alliance

The National Iraqi Alliance is coalition of mostly Shi'ite parties. It was first mooted in August 2009 made up of the principal remaining components of the Alliance: SIIC & Badr, the Sadr Movement, the National Reform Trend, the Islamic Dawa Party - Iraq Organisation and Fadhila. SIIC was reported to have offered to split the coalition's seats four ways - 25% to SIIC and Badr, 25% to the Sadrists, 25% to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Islamic Dawa Party and 25% to others and independents.[31] However, Maliki wanted half the seats - reflecting the results of the Iraqi governorate elections of 2009 won by Maliki's State of Law Coalition - and a guarantee of another term for Maliki.[32][33] He also wanted Sunni Arab parties like the Awakening movements to be included as primary members of the coalition to form what his spokesman termed "a truly national alliance".[31] In September the coalition was formally announced without the Islamic Dawa Party.[34] Other members include former Oil Minister Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress and the Tribes of Iraq Coalition, an awakening council splinter group.[35]

State of Law Coalition

The State of Law Coalition is built around incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Its largest component are members of al-Maliki's Al-Dawa party who joined him in splitting with the other Shi'ite parties. While mostly made up of Shi'ites, State of Law is officially secular and multi-ethnic. Some smaller Sunni, Christian, and Kurdish parties have joined the coalition.[36] The State of Law Coalition was the winner of the Iraqi governorate elections, 2009, where they became the largest list, winning 126 out of 440 local seats and becoming the largest list in 8 of the 9 Shi'a provinces and Baghdad.[37]

al-Iraqiyya

The Iraqi National Movement, more commonly known as Iraqiya, is a secular party headed by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. In the 2005 election Allawi's Iraqi National List won 8% of the vote, winning votes among secular Shi'ites and Sunnis. In 2009 Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi left the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party, and launched a new party called the Renewal List.[38] Hashimi's party joined the Iraqi National Movement. Also joining was the neo-Baathist Iraqi National Dialogue Front led by Saleh al-Mutlak.[39] In January 2010 the De-Baathification Commission barred al-Mutlak from the election citing links to the banned Baath party. The Iraqi National Movement threatened to boycott the election unless the decision was reversed. [40] al-Mutlaq however eventually decided his party would run in the election despite the fact that he had been banned as candidate.[41]

al-Tawafuq

Tawafuq, also known as the Iraqi Accord Front was the main Sunni coalition in 2005 winning 15% and 44 seats as an alliance between the Iraqi Islamic Party, the General Council for the People of Iraq (Iraqi People’s Gathering ) and the Iraqi National Dialogue Council.[42] Since then the Iraqi National Dialogue Council left the alliance, also the Iraqi Islamic Party's leader Tariq al-Hashemi resigned from his position and left the party to create his own party and join al-Iraqiyya. The alliance still includes several independent candidates and the Sunni Islamist Turkmen Justice Party. In 2009 Tawafuq was still the largest Sunni list with 32 seats however the parties which would later form al-Iraqiyya won 47 seats and Tawafuq also lost control of their main stronghold, al-Anbar governorate.[43]

Iraq's Unity

Ahmed Abu Risha, the head of the Awakening movement party that won the most seats in the Al Anbar governorate election, 2009, formed a coalition with Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani's Iraqi Constitutional Party and Ahmed Abdul Ghafour al-Samarrai's Sunni Endowment called Iraq's Unity.[35] Abu Risha had previously held talks with Maliki on joining the State of Law Coalition.[44][45]

Kurdish Lists

The Kurdistani Alliance called for a single pan-Kurdish list, including the Islamist parties and the opposition Movement for Change, which had gained a quarter of the seats in the Iraqi Kurdistan legislative election of 2009. However, the Movement for Change said the two main Kurdistani Alliance parties - the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan of President of Iraq Jalal Talabani and the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iraq of Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani - tended to "monopolize" power, and competing separately would "secure their own powers" in Baghdad. The Kurdistan Islamic Union also said it would compete separately, as it had in December 2005, and rejected a pan-Islamist coalition with the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Islamic Group.[46] In 2005 the Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan had won 21.7% of the votes and 53 out of 275 seats with the Kurdistan Islamic Union winning 1.3% of the votes and 5 seats.[47] In the 2009 Kurdistan general elections the Kurdistani List had won 59 out of 100 Kurdish seats, Gorran winning 25 and the Islamist list winning 13.[48]

New government

The Al-Maliki government was the first government formed under the Constitution of Iraq that was approved in 2005. As a transitional measure, both the President and Prime Minister had two deputies to maintain harmony among Shiite Arabs, Sunni Arabs and Kurds. The President and his two Vice Presidents formed the Presidency Council of Iraq which acted unanimously.[49] However, after the election the President can use his powers alone, and there will be no Vice-Presidents and only one Deputy Prime Minister.[50] In addition, as a transitional measure the Presidency Council had to be elected with a two thirds majority; under the permanent measures, a simple majority is sufficient to elect the President after the first round.[51]

Candidate ban

On 15 January, 2010 Iraq's electoral commission banned 499 candidates, most of which Sunni Muslims, from the election due to links with the Ba'ath Party. Several prominent Sunni politicians were among the banned, including Iraqi Front for National Dialogue leader Saleh al-Mutlaq, Iraqi Defence Minister Qadir Obeidi[52] and Iraqi Accordance Front chairman Dhafer al-Ani.[53] Among the banned candidates 216 were former members of the Ba'ath Party (including 13 mid-ranking members), 182 were members of the paramilitary Fedayeen Saddam and the Mukhabarat (Saddam's intelligence service), a further 105 of them were officers from the Old Iraqi army, including several ex-generals.[54] Among the banned candidates 60% were Sunni Muslims and 40% were Shi'a[55] however all of the banned candidates are members of secular and liberal parties and not a single member of a Sunni or Shi'a religious party was banned.[56] According to Sheikh Abu Risha 7 of the banned candidates were members of his Anbar Salvation Council and 70 were members of the Iraq Unity list, a major Sunni list led by Abu Risha and Jawad al-Bolani.[55]

The electoral commission was criticized for alleged partiality and ties to Shi'a religious parties and some fear this decision will lead to sectarian tensions.[52] Sunni Muslims largely boycotted the January 2005 elections and fears are they will boycott this election as well, since the dominant Sunni list: the Iraqi National Movement threatened to boycott the elections if the decision was not reversed.[40] Al-Mutlaq himself said he would resort to the United Nations and the international community if he is banned from the next election calling the decision a political decision "linked to foreign desire".[57] Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha, head of the Awakening councils threatened he might boycott the 2010 elections as well if the 70 banned candidates of his list were not unbanned.[55] Earlier, Massoud Barzani had threatened Kurds might boycott the elections over the seat allocations.[58] Kurds however decided not to boycott after more seats were allocated to them.[59]

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani called on the Supreme Court to settle the dispute over the banned candidates saying: "We should not be unjust with them." In Najaf however, demonstrations were held in support of the ban where people called the Ba'athists Nazis.[60] American Vice President Joe Biden travelled to Iraq on January 23 to try resolve the matters of the election ban.[61] In response on January 25, Iraq dropped the ban on 59 out of 150 candidates who had appealed their ban. A total of 458 however remained banned from the elections.[62] On 3 February the appeals court has temporarily lifted the ban on the candidates allowing them to run,[63] which the Iraqi government condemned the decision by the court calling it "illegal and unconstitutional".[59] The suspending of the ban is meant to allow the candidates to run, the Supreme Court said they will then review the candidates after the election. The government however ordered the Supreme Court to make their final ruling on the candidates before the election.[64] However out of 511 candidates most had been replaced by their parties (and 59 had been unbanned), only 177 candidates appealed their ban. According to IHEC spokesman Khalid al-Shami only 37 of those appealed their ban correctly, the other 140 remain banned.[65]

US Ambassador Christopher Hill said that by lifting the ban the elections would become credible. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki however said they would not allow Hill to go beyond his diplomatic mission and that Iraq would not bow to any US-pressure. He also insisted that the ban on the alleged Ba'athist candidates must be implemented. Maliki called on the countries high court for a final decision and also called for a parliamentary meeting to discuss the issue.[66]

Before the start of the campaign on 12 February, 2009, the IHEC confirmed that the appeals by banned candidates had been rejected and thus all 456 banned candidates would not be allowed to run for the election.[67] The Iraqi National Movement (al-Iraqiyya list) suspended their election campaign in response.[68] Later Saleh al-Mutlaq's Iraqi National Dialogue Front (a part of the Iraqiyya list) withdrew from the elections and called on other parties to boycott the elections as well.[69] Later however al-Mutlaq changed his mind and decided his party should join the election anyway despite himself being banned.[70]

Election violence

On 13 February, the day the election campaign started, there were several bombings. The first bomb struck a political office of banned candidate Saleh al-Mutlaq, a second bomb was thrown into a building in West-Baghdad used by Sunni scholars and election candidates, while a third bomb damaged the National Iraqi Alliance's headquarters in Eastern Baghdad, a fourth blast struck the headquarters of the Moderate Movement list, injuring two people, a fifth blast struck a building used by Nehru Mohammed Abdul Karim al-Kasanzani's list, injuring one person.[68] On February 15, Omar al-Baghdadi the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella organisation which includes al-Qaeda in Iraq released an internet message calling for a Sunni boycott against the election. He was quoted as saying: "Sunni participation in this election will certainly lead to the establishment of the principle that Sunnis in Iraq are a minority who have to be ruled by the rejectionists" (a term used by radical Sunnis to describe Shi'a Muslims), he also said that his group would use "primarily military means to prevent these elections".[68] On 16 and 17 February campaign workers for the secular Ahrar party were attacked in Baghdad and Maysan governorates when trying to hang up posters.[71] Also between 14 and 17 February at least four Christians were killed by Sunni inusrgents.[72] While on February 18 an al-Qaeda suicide bomber struck a government headquarters in Ramadi, al-Anbar, as part of their campaign to paralyze the elections.[73] 26 February four civilians were injured as a massive blast struck Iraq's finance ministry.[74] A car bomb targeted an election convoy for Sunni candidate Ashur Hamid al-Karboul, in Khaldiyah in al-Anbar. A campaign worker and a bystander were killed.[75]

On 3 March, two car bombs exploded in the city of Baquba, Diyala, killing 33 people and injuring 55. This was one of the largest bombings of the year.[76]

One of the hardest hit communities during the election period is the Iraqi Christian community. Attacks against the community began in December in Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. It led to the assassination of over 20 Christians and the bombings of different churches in Mosul. The attacks led to 680 Christian families flying Mosul to Nineveh plains.[77]

On election day, 38 people were killed and 110 were wounded in Baghdad as insurgents attacked voters. In the deadliest incident 25 people were killed as a katyusha rocket hit a residential building.[78]

On election day, Islamist insurgents distributed leaflets in Sunni neighbourhoods of Baghdad warning people not to go to the polls,[79] they mostly used rockets, mortars and explosive-filled plastic bottles hidden under trash to target those who did vote, this was due to a vehicle ban the government had enforced to stop car-bombings.[80] Attacks killed 42 people[81] and wounded at least 110.[82] In Baghdad Katyusha rockets killed at least 4 people and wounded 16 in the neighbourhoods of Qreiat and al-Hurriya, while roadside bombs killed 7 people in Baghdad.[81] In Mahmoudiyah, a city near Baghdad, a policemant was killed and 11 people were injured when two mortars struck a polling center.[81][80] One woman was killed and 36 people were injured during attacks on polling centers in the insurgent stronghold of Mosul. But the largest attack came in Baghdad when a Katyusha rocket hit a flat in Ur neighbourhood, killing 25 people.[81] Attacks on election day were also reported in Tikrit, Baquba, Samarra and Fallujah.[83]

According to the Iraq Body Count, from 12 February (when the campaigning started) until 7 March (election day), at least 228 people were killed.[84]

Results

Pre-Election Opinion polls

In February 2010 the National Media Center, a government agency conducted a survey among 5,000 Iraqis from 18 different provinces. When people were asked who they would vote for the poll gave the following results:[85]

When asking if people would vote or not two third said they would vote. Among Shi'a Muslims 63% said they would vote, among Sunni Muslims this was 58%. 57% of the Arabs said they would vote while 67% of the Kurds said they would vote. Of those asked 47% supported the candidate ban, 38% opposed it and 15% had no opinion.[85]

According to the Sadrists, they expected the National Iraqi Alliance to win 70 to 80 seats in the government, where from the Sadr Movement would win 35. Spokesmen from Da'awa were skeptical about these claims.[86]

Preliminary Results

Map showing leading lists in each governorates according to the preliminary results.

Early estimates put the turnout at 62.4% with highest turnout in Dahuk governorate (80%).[87] With less than 30% of the vote counted[88] Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law Coalition was in the lead in 9 out of 18 provinces. Iyad Allawi's al-Iraqiyya was said to be leading in the country's Sunni majority areas.[89] The Irish Times claimed that the State of Law Coalition had won 100 out of 325 seats and the National Iraqi Alliance had performed disappointingly. They said Maliki himself had won the most votes in Baghdad as candidate. In as Sulaymaniyah province, they estimated the turnout at 71.2% with Gorran winning Sulaymaniyah city but the Kurdistani List sweeping the rural areas and the Kurdish Islamist list doing well in the Eastern areas of the governorate winning 15% of the vote there. They also claimed that in Kirkuk province the Kurdistani List had secured 8 out of 12 seats.[90] In Kurdistan, polls showed the Kurdistani List had won 44 seats (27 for the KDP, 17 for the PUK) while Gorran claims to have won 15 and the Kurdish Islamic List won 6 (4 for the Islamic Union of Kurdistan and 2 for the Islamic Group of Kurdistan).[91] The Kurdistani List won 8 out of 12 seats in Kirkuk (6 PUK, 2 KDP), 10 out of 14 seats in Erbil (8 KDP, 2 PUK), while Gorran won 2 seats in Erbil and the KIU and IGK eaach won 1 seat there. In Dahuk the KDP won 8 out of 10 seats and the KIU won the other 2. In Ninawa the 10 out of 31 seats went to Kurdish parties,[92] with Gorran winning in Mosul city.[93]

On March 11, preliminary results were released with 30% of the vote counted for 5 of Iraq's 18 provinces. They showed the Kurdistani List leading in Arbil with 96 thousand votes, Gorran being a distant second with 20,000. In Salah ad-Din and Diyala, al-Iraqiyya was first place with 34 amd 42 thousand votes followed in Salah ad-Din by Tawafuq and in Diyala by the INA, which had each only 10 thousand votes. In two Shi'a provinces of Babil and Najaf, State of Law Coalition was in a narrow lead having 68 thousand votes in Babil, followed by the INA with 55 thousand and having 55 thousand votes in Najaf, followed narrowly by the INA with 48 thousand.[94]

The next day results were released for al-Muthanna (were State of Law led with 15 thousand votes, followed by the INA with 10 thousand) and Maysan, were the INA led with 30 thousand votes to State of Law's 23 thousand votes. By 12 March the State of Law Coalition was nationally in first place with roughly 179,000 votes, followed by the INA with 160,000 and al-Iraqiyya with 124,000.[95] The Kurdistan Alliance was fourth place with well over 100,000 votes.[96] Baghdad preliminary results were released on March 13 with the State of Law Coalition in first place with 150,000 votes, followed by the National Iraqi Alliance with 108,000 votes and al-Iraqiyya with 105,000 votes.[97] The National Iraqi Alliance's Sadr Movement however, came first in Sadr City with State of Law coming second.[98] Results in Sunday also showed State of Law ahead in Karbala province, while the National Iraqi Alliance was ahead in al-Qadissiyah, al-Iraqiyya was ahead in Ninawa, were they were backed by the local al-Hadba party.[99] On March 14 preliminary results were released for 3 more governorates, they State of Law leading in Basra, al-Iraqiyya leading in al-Anbar and the Kurdistani List leading Dahuk. [100]

In Basra, with 63% of the vote counted, State of Law was leading with 219 thousand votes, followed by the NIA with 122 thousand votes and al-Iraqiya with 36 thousand votes.[101] In al-Anbar, al-Iraqiya was leading by a large margin with 122 thousand votes, followed by Iraq's Unity with 18 thousand and State of Law with 3 thousand.[102] In Dahuk, the Kurdistan Alliance was in a far lead as well with over 170 thousand votes, the Islamist alliance of the KIU and IGK was second place with 31 thousand votes, the main opposition party: Gorran, coming third with just 12 thousand votes.[103] At the end of the day results were released from all governorates, they showed State of Law leading in Wasit, the National Iraqi Alliance leading in Dhi Qar, the Kurdistan Alliance leading in as Sulaymaniyah and al-Iraqiya leading in Kirkuk, which came as a surprise to most analysts which had expected the Kurdistan Alliance would win.[104] His lead however was very narrow, having 123,862 votes against the Kurdistan Alliance's 120,664 votes.[105] However later results showed the Kurdistan Alliance catching up and by March 17 al-Iraqiyya's lead over the Kurdstan alliance had dropped from 3,198 to just 6.[106]

For a short period al-Iraqiyya pulled ahead of State of Law in the polls, leading in the polls with 9,000 votes.[107] This led to fraud allegations by State of Law which demanded a recount.[108] The next day however, the State of Law Coalition re-took it's lead and was over 40,000 votes ahead of al-Iraqiyya.[109]

Final Results

e • d Summary of the 7 March 2010 Council of Representatives of Iraq PROJECTED election results
Alliances and parties Votes % Seats +/–
State of Law Coalition 2,260,483 26.06% 85
Iraqi National Movement (al-Iraqiya) 2,220,443
National Iraqi Alliance 1,718,024
Kurdistani Alliance 1,254,346
Movement for Change (Gorran) 373,162
Unity Alliance of Iraq 253,451
Iraqi Accord Front (al-Tawafuq) 234,188
Etihad Islamic Union 200,187
Islamic Movement of Kurdistan 122,761
al-Ahrar list unknown
The People's Union (Itihad al-Shaab) unknown
Total (turnout 62.4 %) [5]   325

Fraud Allegations

Prior to the elections there were already claims that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's list was planning to rig elections. The fact that the government printed 26 milion ballots, 35% more than are needed for all eligible voters led to claims by Ayad Allawi and his al-Iraqiiya list that these ballots were going to be used to commit fraud. According to the National Iraqi Alliance al-Maliki was abusing his powers as Prime Minister by distributing government land and plantations freely to tribal leaders to secure their votes, Maliki was also said to be giving expensive guns with gold emblems on them, to visitors. Ibrahim al-Jaafari's Islah party accused the Maliki government of registering 800,000 fabricated names in rural areas and Baghdad so the government could use their names to vote in favour of Maliki while these people do not exist. The Sadr Movement complained that the government was arresting and detaining their supporters in the days prior to the elections to prevent them from voting. [110]

Leaders of al-Iraqiyya listed a series of alleged violations by Maliki claiming some of their votes had been removed from boxes and replaced by other ballots. A spokesman from the alliance released this statement: "Insistence in manipulating these elections forces us to question whether the possibility of fraudulent results would make the final results worthless. We will not stand by with our arms crossed," however analysts claim Allawi might be listing these complaints for tactical reasons.[111] Allawi also accused the Kurdistan Alliance of fraud in Kirkuk.[112] On the other hand the Kurdish Gorran List alleged that Allawi's al-Iraqiya list had commited fraud in the city of Mosul[113] and Ali al-Adeeb, a candidate on Maliki's list, made his own fraud accusations, saying that: "There was manipulation of the numbers by an official who works in the data entry section, this person is working for the benefit of one bloc and manipulating the numbers."[114]

Meanwhile the Iraqi National Alliance voiced concernes that the US was trying to manipulate the country's election results. INA candidate Entifadh Qanbar told Press TV: "The concern is that how the ballots from each voting center are going to be processed in the computer center inside the Electoral Commission, the reason we are insisting on this issue is that we are afraid there is some sort of American intervention inside the Electoral Commission in processing these numbers and may be altering these numbers. We will not accept any election results without putting the ballots out to prove that the ballots have been processed and entered in the computer system in a proper way."[115]

Iraqi Kurdish politician Khalid Shenawi, accused election workers in Arab areas in the city of Kirkuk of manipulating the results in Allawis favour. Meanwhile Arab and Turkmen politicians accused the Kurds of stacking voter rolls in their favour.[116] Shenawi said that loudspeakers of mosques were used to encourage people to vote and expressed doubt over the 93% turnout in Kirkuk's Arab districts al-Zab, al-Abbasi, al-Riad and al-Houija. Ala Talabani said the Kurdistani List had submitted 40 notices of appeal against fraud by al-Iraqiya. Turkmen nationalist politician Arshid Al-Salihi, who stood as part of the al-Iraqiya list however claimed they have proof of al-Iraqiyya votes being thrown in the garbage, alleging fraud by the Kurdistani List. However, contradictingly he also claimed that "Everyone who loses in elections accuses their rivals of fraud" in reference to claims by the Kurdistan Alliance.[117]

References

  1. ^ Iraq cabinet approves vote on U.S. security pact, Reuters, 2008-08-17
  2. ^ http://www.truthout.org/topstories/110909ms02
  3. ^ a b c d Obama hails Iraq's approval of 2010 election law, Agence France Presse, 2009-11-09
  4. ^ a b Deadlock over election law in Iraq, New York Times, 2009-10-21
  5. ^ Iraq election body seeks vote delay due to law row, Reuters, 2009-11-06
  6. ^ a b Iraq VP threatens to veto vote law over refugees, Reuters, 2009-11-15
  7. ^ Iraq cabinet approves draft elections law, Reuters, 2009-09-12
  8. ^ Top Shiite cleric supports open voting in Iraq's national polls, Xinhua, 2009-10-06
  9. ^ Iraq's top Shiite cleric may urge vote boycott, Agence France Presse, 2009-10-06
  10. ^ Iraqis rally amid Ayatollah's call for open voting, Press TV, 2009-10-10
  11. ^ Iraq election law delayed over Kirkuk, Press TV, 2009-10-21
  12. ^ Legislators in Iraq Block a Deal on Elections, New York Times, 2009-10-28
  13. ^ Iraq MPs fail to reach quorum for election law vote, Agence France Presse, 2009-10-29
  14. ^ a b c d election law faces new challenges, Niqash, 2009-11-13
  15. ^ Iraqi Constitution, see Article 49
  16. ^ Presidency’s demands put Iraq January vote in doubt, Agence France Presse, 2009-11-16
  17. ^ Will disputes derail Iraq's election, BBC, 2009-11-18
  18. ^ Iraq struggles over election law dispute, The Guardian, 2009-11-19
  19. ^ elections thrown off track, Asia Times, 2009-11-21
  20. ^ Wassit residents protest election law veto, Aswat al-Iraq, 2009-11-21
  21. ^ Demonstration in Basra against election law veto, Awsat al-Iraq, 2009-11-20
  22. ^ Demonstrations against the veto .. والمرجعية الشيعية «قلقة» من احتمال إرجاء الاقتراع The Shiite «concerned» the possibility of postponement of the ballot (translated from Arabic), Voice of Iraq, 2009-11-21
  23. ^ Kurds Threaten Boycott of Iraqi National Elections, Voice of America, 2009-11-17
  24. ^ Iraqi Parliament approves amended electoral law, Press TV, 2009-11-23
  25. ^ 'Iraq's newly-approved electoral law to face veto', Press TV, 2009-11-23
  26. ^ Iraq's Sunni VP played election poker and lost, experts say, Agence France Presse, 2009-11-29
  27. ^ Iraq MPs miss poll law deadline, Al Jazeera, 2009-12-06
  28. ^ a b Iraq elections: Preparations in progress, Al Sumaria
  29. ^ مفوضية الانتخابات: 19 مليون عراقي ينتخبون 323 نائبا (Arabic), PUK Media
  30. ^ [1] UNAMI Office of Electoral Assistance/IFES Fact sheet
  31. ^ a b Iraq PM set to break with Shiite coalition in January polls, Agence France Presse, 2008-08-13
  32. ^ New Iraqi Shiite Coalition coming together, Informed Comment quoting Azzaman (Arabic)
  33. ^ Maliki plots his next move, Asia Times, 2009-09-16
  34. ^ Shiite Fundamentalist Coalition Announced Al-Maliki Might Not win Second Term, Informed Comment quoting Al-Zaman, 2009-08-25
  35. ^ a b Political alliances ahead of Iraq's 2010 election, Reuters, 2009-10-21
  36. ^ BBC - Guide to groups competing in Iraqi polls
  37. ^ Iraqi governorate elections, 2009
  38. ^ Disunity Threatens Sunni Iraq, Wall Street Journal, 2009-09-28
  39. ^ Iraq VP forms coalition with Mutlak, Allawi, Al Sumaria, 2009-10-29
  40. ^ a b Influential Group Threatens To Boycott Iraq Election, Radio Liberty, 2010-01-09
  41. ^ http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=119514&sectionid=351020201
  42. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4511450.stm
  43. ^ http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/special/misc/iraqielections2010/index.cfm?fa=ia
  44. ^ ANALYSIS-Trouble in former Qaeda heartland bodes ill for Iraq, Reuters, 2009-08-24
  45. ^ http://en.aswataliraq.info/?p=120148
  46. ^ kurds seek unity in struggle with baghdad, Niqash, 2009-10-29
  47. ^ Iraqi parliamentary election, December 2005
  48. ^ http://www.niqash.org/content.php?contentTypeID=75&id=2578&lang=0
  49. ^ See article 127 of the Constitution of Iraq
  50. ^ Political changes on the horizon, Kurdish Globe, 2009-10-25
  51. ^ See Articles 138 and 70
  52. ^ a b BBC News Iraqi election commission bans 500 candidates
  53. ^ Press TV US to surrender Iraq to extremists, 24 January, 2010
  54. ^ Press TV Banned Iraq candidates linked to Saddam, 19 January, 2010
  55. ^ a b c The Washington Post Iraqi sheik threatens boycott over ballot purge, 30 January, 2010
  56. ^ "What Do We Know About The Election Crisis In Iraq?". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. January 28, 2010. http://www.rferl.org/content/What_Do_We_Know_About_The_Election_Crisis_In_Iraq_/1942557.html. 
  57. ^ http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=19450
  58. ^ CNN Kurds threaten Iraq election boycott, November 17, 2009
  59. ^ a b BBC Iraq government condemns Baathist election ban repeal, 4 February 2010
  60. ^ Press TV Talabani asks court to settle elections dispute, 22 January, 2010
  61. ^ Press TV Biden waltzes into Iraq over ex-Baathists, 23 January, 2010
  62. ^ Google News Iraq reinstates 59 election candidates, 25 January, 2009
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  65. ^ http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=118271&sectionid=351020201
  66. ^ Press TV Maliki 'won't allow US meddling in election row' , 05 Feb 2010
  67. ^ http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-46143820100213
  68. ^ a b c http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/02/201021463242489398.html
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  70. ^ http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=119514&sectionid=351020201
  71. ^ http://trueslant.com/michaelhastings/2010/02/17/exclusive-secular-political-campaign-under-attack-in-iraq
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  75. ^ http://www.torontosun.com/news/world/2010/02/28/13057751-ap.html
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  77. ^ [[2]
  78. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/38-killed-in-Iraq-election-day-violence-Interior-ministry/articleshow/5655030.cms
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  80. ^ a b Iraq Election: Major Turnout At Polls Despite Insurgent Violence, 8 Machr, 2010
  81. ^ a b c d Iraqi Deaths Mar-10
  82. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/38-killed-in-Iraq-election-day-violence-Interior-ministry/articleshow/5655030.cms
  83. ^ http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=120255&sectionid=351020201
  84. ^ http://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/recent/0/
  85. ^ a b France 24 Foes Maliki, Allawi 'top contenders in Iraq poll' , 24 February, 2010
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  88. ^ Iraq postpones election preliminary results
  89. ^ PM Maliki likely winner of Iraqi elections
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  110. ^ http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LC02Ak01.html
  111. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named fraud1; see Help:Cite error.
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  116. ^ http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/314210,iraq-poll-results-delayed-again-amid-mounting-fraud-claims--summary.html
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