These elections, which were scheduled for the year 2022, will be held according to a new electoral law that adopts multiple electoral districts and voting for one candidate, which is supposed to limit the dominance of large parties on the political scene.
According to the Independent High Electoral Commission, the number of voters in these elections is 25 million, distributed among 83 electoral districts and 8,273 ballot boxes. As for the number of voters who can theoretically vote, it is 23 million, as they have issued biometric electoral cards, where each district elects between three to five representatives, compared to the number of its residents.
Candidates are competing for 329 seats, including 83 seats representing 25% of the total for women, in addition to 9 seats for minorities distributed among Christians, Shabaks, Sabeans, Yazidis and Faili Kurds.
The number of candidates is more than 3240, including about 950 women, less than half the number of women who ran in the 2018 elections. There are also 789 independent candidates, while the rest are distributed within the lists of political parties and alliances.
The same traditional political forces still dominate the Iraqi political scene despite the protest movement that took place in the country in October 2019. Meanwhile, the activists who participated in the protests and the communists boycotted the elections.
The Sadrist movement, led by Muqtada al-Sadr, enjoys a large popular base that enabled him to win the largest number of parliament seats during the 2018 elections, and he may be able to strengthen his presence in Parliament this session as well.
As for the pro-Iranian PMF factions, they are represented by candidates within the “Al-Fatah” coalition led by Hadi Al-Amiri, who also heads the “Badr Organization”, one of the main factions in the Popular Mobilization, which has become part of the government security forces. Representatives of these factions arrived for the first time in Parliament after The 2018 elections, and the “Huqooq” party, which is close to “Kataeb Hezbollah”, is one of the most prominent currents emanating from the Popular Mobilization to participate in the elections.
As for alliances, there is the State of Law coalition led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who held the longest term as prime minister between 2006 and 2014. In addition to the “national state forces” headed by former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the “Hikma Movement” led by the Shiite cleric Ammar al-Hakim, and seeks to play a moderate role.
As for the Sunni parties, the currents are engaged in a fierce competition, especially between the “Progress” alliance led by Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi, who became an important player in a short period in the country’s political scene, and the “Azm” alliance led by Khamis al-Khanjar, which is subject to US sanctions against the background of “corruption”. “.
There are other new lists, including “Coming to Change”, led by Hassan Al-Ramahi, and it includes a majority of independents.
With regard to the Kurdish parties, the two main Kurdish parties led by Massoud Barzani, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan headed by the son and nephew of its late president Jalal Talabani, play a major role in the Kurdish political scene in Iraq in general and the autonomous Kurdistan region.
The opposition in the region is represented by other parties, including the “Islamic Union Party”, “The New Generation” and “Koran”, which means “change” in Arabic.
The Popular Mobilization and the Electoral Commission
The PMF denounced the authorities’ decision not to include it in the special voting arrangements in the parliamentary elections, similar to the security forces.
Tens of thousands of PMF fighters are supposed to vote like any other citizen in their constituencies, but achieving this is difficult because they are spread throughout the country.
On the other hand, the security forces participate in the elections through a special vote organized on October 8, and they cast their votes in the polling stations designated for them.
“You have certainly heard that your brothers in the Popular Mobilization have been deprived of the special vote, and therefore they cannot vote unless they leave the berms and return to their areas,” said Ahmed Al-Asadi, a deputy from the Popular Mobilization bloc in Parliament.
He called on his supporters to vote in the hundreds “to compensate for the votes of our heroes who will be our defenders in the berms, so that we achieve our victory.”
For her part, the spokesperson for the Independent High Electoral Commission, Jumana Al-Ghalai, said that “the Electoral Commission is very keen on the participation of Iraqi citizens, whether they are voters or candidates, and addressed the Popular Mobilization Authority to provide it with the names of their affiliates, put them in the special voter register and issue biometric cards for special voting.”
She added that “the PMF did not provide the Commission with the names of their members, so the Electoral Commission included them in the general vote, because the data of the PMF’s members was not sent to the Commission.”