Global Policy Forum

Iraq Elections 2010

Picture Credit: Indie News

Over the past six months parties have formed coalitions which seem less sectarian than the lists of 2005. But the parliamentary vote on a new election law was delayed until early November, due to disputes over many issues, including the electoral process in the northern city of Kirkuk. Then, Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashimi vetoed the law. The elections are scheduled to take place on March 7, 2010.




Iraqi Judicial Panel Orders Recount (April 19, 2010)

A successful appeal by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, citing allegations of vote fraud during the March 7 election, has resulted in an Iraqi court ordering a partial recount of 2.5 million votes cast in Baghdad.  Despite statements from the US Embassy and the UN that balloting was carried out in a "credible fashion," Maliki supporters accuse the CIA and State Department of working to help former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. The court decision is likely to postpone the certification of election results and delay the seating of parliament, which was anticipated for early June. (Los Angeles Times)

Maliki Contests the Result of Iraq Vote (March 27, 2010)

The day before election results were announced in Iraq, Prime Minister Maliki's office asked the Supreme Federal Court to define the term, "the parliamentary bloc with the most members," in Article 76 of the Iraqi Constitution. The Court ruled that the "leader of the bloc with the most followers" once Parliament convenes, most likely in June, will have the mandate to form a government. As winning candidates are free to switch parties, this decision gives Maliki until June to persuade candidates from other alliances' to join his State of Law Party. This move could lead to widespread dissatisfaction if Maliki is given the first opportunity to form government as Allawi won the most seats in Parliament and as well as the popular vote. (New York Times)

Allawi Victory in Iraq Sets Up Period of Uncertainty (March 26, 2010)

Five years after being denounced as an American puppet, former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi is set to return to power in Iraq after narrowly defeating Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the March 7 election. Allawi's Iraqiya list secured 91 seats and Maliki's State of Law Party won 89 seats. However, neither candidate has the 163 seat majority in Parliament required to form a government. The outcome was immediately challenged by Maliki, alleging fraud. The Independent High Electoral Commission stated that the panel had "investigated hundreds of allegations of fraud", but had found none that would "significantly change" the election results.(New York Times)

Maliki Seeks Recount in Iraq Elections (March 22, 2010)

Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, alleging fraud, invoked his military powers as Iraq's Commander-in-Chief to demand that a ballot-by-ballot recount in Iraq's parliamentary elections. Maliki, who received support from the President and Interior Minister, insisted that the credibility of the election was in danger despite statements from the US Embassy and the UN that balloting was carried out in a "credible fashion." With 95% of the votes tallied, former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi appears to be ahead by 11,000 votes nationwide, but curiously there were no international monitors to test the credibility of the elections. (Los Angeles Times)

Election Monitors' Report Increases Doubts over Fairness of Iraq Election (March 15, 2010)

Local election monitors have raised serious concerns about the fairness of the parliamentary elections held in Iraq on March 7. The Independent Report published by three Iraqi institutions, details widespread irregularities with reports of inadequate and fraudulent electoral rolls and claims that "security forces were urging people to vote for a specific list." The absence of international monitors casts an additional shadow over the election.(TimesOnline)

Candidates Speculate on Results of Iraq Vote (March 8, 2010)

According to Iraq's Election Commission, 62 percent of Iraqis voted in the March 7 parliamentary election. US ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, described the election as "very quiet and very orderly." However there are reports of bomb blasts around Baghdad, killing at least 38 and wounding dozens more. With preliminary results not expected until Thursday, the two front-runners for the post of Prime Minister appear to be former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and the incumbent Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.  Apparently, though, neither candidate's coalition received enough votes to control a majority of seats in the 325 member Council of Representatives. (New York Times)

Iraq: Poor Selling Their Votes for Cash (February 27, 2010)

Selling and buying votes is illegal under Iraqi law. However, some of the Iraq's poorest voters are prepared to sell their votes for as little as US$5 to guarantee their allegiance in the election booth on March 7. "Elections are a beautiful opportunity to get some money, there are lots of people willing to sell their votes, and lots of people who want to buy them," stated Ahmad Salam, an "election agent," who currently has 100 people prepared to sell their votes to the highest bidder. (The Nation)



Politics and Politicking: Iraqi Elections, the Failure of Reconciliation, and the Consolidation of Power (December 7, 2009)

On December 6, the Iraqi Parliament approved a new election law, thereby overcoming the impasse created by Vice President al-Hashimi's veto the month previous.  Although a compromise on the election has now been found, the related issues of Kirkuk and of the upcoming Iraqi census remain unresolved. At the core of all these issues lies a struggle over resources and power. This article emphasizes the importance of ensuring that various Iraqi groups - who have lost out since 2003 - do not perceive themselves to be at a further disadvantage by the result of the census and Kirkuk debates.  (Informed Comment)

Iraqi Election Plan is Thrown into Doubt (November 19, 2009)

Tariq al-Hashemi, one of Iraq's two vice-presidents, has vetoed the recently passed election law. He stated that the law was unfair to displaced Iraqis living abroad. As a result of this decision, the electoral commission has suspended preparations for the vote. Al-Hashemi's veto has made it increasingly unlikely that Iraq's elections will take place in January,  a delay which may well complicate US withdrawal. (New York Times)

Iraq's Election Hopes (November 9, 2009)

On November 8, the Iraqi Parliament finally approved a revised election law, enabling the January 2010 elections to take place as planned. One of the main disputes revolved around the status of the disputed northern city of Kirkuk. MPs reached a compromise whereby Kirkuk will be treated like any other governorate, but the votes in Kirkuk could be placed under special review after the election. The compromise may prove fragile if parliamentarians later invoke the special review mechanism. (Guardian)

In Order to Postpone the Election (October 16, 2009)

The Iraqi Parliament did not begin reforming the Electoral Commission until early October, although criticisms of the commission reach back to January 2009. With so little time remaining until the January 2010 elections, there is talk about election postponement, even though the previous elections were held under worse conditions. Delaying the elections would be in violation of the Iraqi constitution and cast doubt on the viability of the country's democratic institutions.  (As-Sabah/Mideast wire)

Doubts Over Transparency of Coming Iraqi Election (October 13, 2009)

The National Iraqi Alliance has caused some controversy by asking that Iraqi ex-patriots be excluded from voting in the January 2010 elections. They argue that as few Iraqi abroad tend to vote, providing this service wastes a substantial amount of money. The Alliance also fears  that the voting process for Iraqi ex-patriots will not be transparent, as they believe several of Iraqi's neighbors wish to influence the outcome.

Alliance Building in Anbar: Sunnis Join Cross-Sectarian Trend  (September 7,  2009)

As the national elections approach, parties in Iraq are beginning the task of alliance building. In the Sunni province of Anbar, parties are seeking alliances across the sectarian divide. Sheikh Hamid Al-Hayes' Salvation Council had won no seats in the provincial elections, but sources say he hopes his new alliance with a Shia coalition will lead to success in January. (Niqash)

Maliki Makes a Bold Move (August 26, 2009)

Shiite political groups have formed the Iraqi National Alliance, a new coalition to contest the upcoming election of 2010. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Islamic Dawa Party have absented themselves from this coalition, so he must ally himself with the Kurds and the Sunnis in order to win the election. If Maliki's efforts succeed, this bloc could represent one of the first "credible and truly national coalitions." (Guardian)


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