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    Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

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    goodyboy
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    Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  goodyboy on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 19:29

    from the iBeach...  What a Face 
    ISN News tweet
    https://twitter.com/iraqsolidarity/status/441722429023338496



    Upcoming Elections In Iraq: Prospects And Challenges
    By Rajeev Agarwal and Divya Malhotra
    http://www.eurasiareview.com
    Posted 2014-03-06 22:50 GMT

    Amidst political instability, violence, economic disequilibrium and social chaos, Iraq is gearing up for the general elections on April 30, 2014. This will be the first parliamentary election after the US withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 and the third since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Iraq's revival in the coming decades is the most critical issue which could well be dictated by the outcome of these elections. Nouri al-Maliki, the Shiite PM, seeking a third term in office, is facing growing opposition at home, including from his powerful Shia allies. There is also a growing rift within Maliki's party members that his third consecutive political victory could marginalize them and strengthen his monopoly in the party as well as national politics. As Iraq gears up for the upcoming elections, there are some fundamental questions which need to be examined:

    What are the major challenges facing Iraq as it goes for parliamentary elections?
    What are the prospects of the current regime retaining political power?

    Background

    The US-led invasion of 2003 marked the end of Saddam Hussein's despotic rule over Iraq. In a key speech in 2003, President Bush had avowed that "democracy will succeed" in Iraq and envisioned "post-Saddam Iraq as a flourishing democracy." In the last decade however, Iraq has at best, seen a violent and low-intensity democracy.

    The first post-Saddam elections were held on Jan 30, 2005 forming 275-seat transitional National Assembly mandated to write a new Constitution. These elections were, however, boycotted by Sunnis, which undermined the legitimacy of the elections and fueled violence. After months of constitutional maneuvering, the new constitution was approved by a referendum on October 15, 2005. Soon after, a second election was held on December 15, 2005 to elect a permanent Iraqi Council of Representatives. 79.6% voter turnout and relatively low levels of violence during polling were encouraging signs for the political transition. United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), a bloc consisting of 18 conservative Shia Islamist groups won the elections, and after months of negotiations between Iraqi politicians, leaders of UIA and the US, Nouri al-Maliki representing Islamic Dawa Party was sworn in as Prime minister on May 20, 2006.

    The next elections in 2010 suffered on two grounds; internal schism within the UIA and ban on almost 500 candidates, mostly Sunni Muslims, including several prominent Sunni politicians due to alleged links with the Ba'ath Party. Despite this, the Sunni-dominated secular group Iraqi list coalition led by Iyad Allawi; a secular Shiite leader won two seats more than al-Maliki's state of law bloc, but could not form the government leading to an impasse. Iran's efforts and influence broke the impasse and led to formation of the al-Ittilaf al-Watani al-Iraqi (Iraqi National Alliance) in May 2010 with Maliki the prime minister.

    Al-Maliki, who returned to Iraq in 2003 after serving 23 years of exile in Tehran and Damascus, faces major challenges as he seeks his third term. Maliki has often been accused of shia-zation of Iraqi politics, However, some steps taken by him run counter to this discourse, like the Operation Charge of the Knights; an offensive against the Sadr militias in Basra in March 2008 which won Maliki the confidence of many Sunnis and Kurds. Also in 2009, a mixed marriage policy programme was launched to encourage Shia-Sunni marriages under which $1800 was offered to the newly-wed couples. Despite this, Maliki's style of governance has remained questionable within Iraq. When in 2011, Iraqiyya bloc's Saleh al-Mutlaq; one of the three deputy prime ministers of Iraq since 2010 publicly denounced al-Maliki's autocratic style, the former was asked to submit his resignation. Challenges

    The political climate in Iraq has been tense given the fault lines within the rival Shia and Sunni blocs. UIA split into two Shia blocs in 2009; the State of Law Coalition, headed by Nouri al-Maliki, and the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) led by Ammar Hakim. In the elections of 2010, the parties contested as opposing coalitions, formally marking the political split. In addition, a powerful Shiite cleric and a vocal critic of US presence in Iraq, Muqtada al-Sadr suddenly announced his retirement from politics on February 14 this year, which too could add to the discontent in Shia bloc. As regards the Sunnis, during the 2010 elections, they formed one major bloc -- the Iraqi Coalition List under leadership of secular Shia Ayad Allawi. In the elections slated for April this year, however, Allawi's Iraqiya Bloc will be competing with two more Sunni blocs; the United Bloc headed by Osama al-Nujaifi, the current speaker of the House and the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue headed by current Deputy PM Saleh al-Mutlaq.

    Sectarian violence is also a major issue facing Iraq. The bombing of Al Askari Shia mosque in Sammara on February 22, 2006 marked the beginning of Maliki's term as PM, and since then, Iraq has experienced escalating violence. Since January 2005 till February 2014, 110,637 civilians lost their lives, as per Iraq Body Count estimates. In January this year alone, a total of 733 Iraqis were killed according to UNAMI figures. Amidst such tense situation, voter turnout remains a valid concern.

    Another concern is the ban on participation of Sunnis. Post-Saddam period has witnessed repeated electoral bans on Sunnis including the ban on 500 odd prominent Sunni leaders in 2010. Although there are no official reports of electoral ban on Sunnis this time, an All Iraq News report recently revealed that travel bans and arrest warrants are being issued against members of Iraqi parliament; mostly Sunnis, members of Iraqiya bloc and critics of al-Maliki.

    Iraqi voters based abroad would be another vital factor during these elections. On December 31, Chief Electoral Officer of Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), Mukdad al Sharify confirmed that the IHEC offices outside Iraq will run the registration and voting process for Iraqis living abroad to coincide with the parliamentary elections. It will be interesting to see how this segment of Iraqi populace contributes to the political future of Iraq.

    Legitimacy of the elections is going to remain questionable. In January 2013, a draft law restricting the term of the prime minister, president and parliamentary speaker to a maximum of two terms was passed, however, the Federal Supreme Court, overturned the law within few days, legitimizing Maliki's prolonged stay in Iraqi politics.

    Regional and external players are indispensible elements in Iraq's political canvas. In the decade following 2003, the US and Iran had tremendous influence over Baghdad's political strategy. The rise of Al-Maliki is a clear symbol of Iran's influence in Iraq. Role of the US post 2011 withdrawal has diminished giving Iran greater leverage. The role of Russia in courting Iraq with defence and oil deals is significant. The fact that Iran and Russian interests converge in Iraq reinforces Moscow's influence in Baghdad. The Syrian crisis and the transnational Kurdish issue has been a restricting factor in Iraq's regional engagement. Turkey's attempts to deal directly with the Kurdish Autonomous Region on oil have often led to internal discord in Iraq which could have bearing on the coming elections. Prospects

    Iraq is still politically weak and socially fragile, clearly divided into Sunnis, Shias and Kurds camps. Despite efforts to rebuild its weak economy by kick-starting the oil industry, Iraq's economy continues to remain vulnerable. The onus of rebuilding Iraq; economically, politically and socially will essentially fall upon the elected government. It will be important to see whether any sectarian bloc emerges victor or the political power is distributed in a coalition similar to the 2010 elections.

    http://iqdnews.forumotion.com/t1855-2003-to-2013-a-wide-angle-look-at-iraq

    Iraq stands at crucial cross roads. The next five years could well lay the framework for future consolidation of Iraq. While the issues of violence, sectarian divide and external influence will continue, it is the elected government and its policies which will dictate whether or not Iraq can emerge as a significant country in the next decades. Despite the current challenges in Iraq and Maliki's growing unpopularity due to his autocratic style, chances of his political bloc retaining power remain significant, owing to the consistent support from Iran as well as a fragmented Sunni opposition.

    http://www.aina.org/news/20140306165024.htm?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter


    Last edited by goodyboy on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 19:33; edited 2 times in total
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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  goodyboy on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 19:30

    ...  What a Face 
    you may also want to check out Kirk Sowell for an objective perspective...reportedly a non-dinarian, but a walking encyclopedia on Iraqi politics...

    "...there continues to be concern regarding the macroscopic political turmoil in Iraq. Kirk Sowell, Iraqi political risk analyst, recently stated in a briefing on Iraq's political situation that the elections can be perfectly fair, and still reproduce the current political mess..."the real problem is the oligarchic (tyrannical) nature of the political system as it is now."

    Kirk Sowell, Iraqi political risk analyst, attorney, historian and translator...
    http://about.me/kirksowell/
    http://www.uticensis.com
    https://www.facebook.com/kirk.sowell.1?fref=ts



    Last edited by goodyboy on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 22:07; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  goodyboy on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 19:30

    ...  What a Face 

    The elections will decide the 328 members of the Council of Representatives, who will in turn elect the Iraqi President and Prime Minister.

    Electoral system

    The electoral system is based on the open list system of proportional representation using the governorates as the constituencies. The counting system has been changed slightly from the Largest remainder method method to the modified Sainte-Laguë method due to a ruling by the Supreme Court that the previous method discriminated against smaller parties. Seven "compensatory" seats that were awarded at the national level to those parties whose national share of the vote wasn't reflected in the seats won at the governorate level have been allocated to individual governorates. Eight seats remain reserved for minority groups at the national level.[1]

    Campaign

    The campaign is expected to focus on competition within the three main sectarian communities: Shi'ite Arabs, Sunni Arabs and Kurds. Shi'ite Arabs will be split between the Prime Minister's State of Law, Sadrist Movement and Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council. The former secular/sunni Iraqiya coalition will be split between the parliamentary speaker's Mutahidoun party, Allawi's Iraqi National Alliance and al-Mutlak's Iraqi National Dialogue Front.[2]

    Parties

    Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission approved 276 political entities to run in the elections.[3] Political entities appear on the ballot as part of a "coalition" (kutla) and under the constitution of Iraq the head of the largest coalition has the first call to become Prime Minister. However, in a precedent set following the 2010 election, a revised coalition can be formed following the election. This reduces the incentive for parties to form coalitions prior to the election.

    The largest parties on the approved list include the Prime Minister's State of Law Coalition, the Sadrist Movement (Ahrar), the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Iraqi National Accord. Significant new parties include the former militant group Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq and the White Iraqiya Bloc, which split from the Iraqi National Accord.

    [1] http://gulfanalysis.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/iraq-amends-its-electoral-law-and-is-ready-for-parliamentary-elections-in-april-2014/
    [2] http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/11/iraq-upcoming-elections-cross-sect-alliances-unlikely.html
    [3] http://gulfanalysis.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/additional-political-entities-are-approved-for-the-iraq-2014-parliamentary-elections/
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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  goodyboy on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 20:22

    from the swiss connection...  What a Face
    ...I'm blessed with our little network...
    ......they keep keepin it real...they are the grass in grassroots...
     


    Niqash: Briefings from Inside and Across Iraq
    "...no elections for troubled Anbar? possible postponement jeopardizes all Iraq..."
    3/7/2014

     What a Face gb:...and regarding the elections, we need to have heartfelt consideration for the real life drama that is facing so many fellow humans in the Anbar region...this violence is reportedly now raising increasing election related concerns ....this violence is being fueled by the ISIL, a terrorist organization spilling over from Syria and Iran....the UN (UNAMI) just yesterday stepped up its relief for hundreds of thousands who are being displaced by this tragic violence and in dire need of basic humanitarian aid...please "imagine all the people"...links below reveal the current UNAMI assessment and efforts...  

    https://twitter.com/UNiraq/status/441263212055392256/photo/1/large
    https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Anbar&src=hash
    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47303&Cr=iraq&Cr1=&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed#.UxqLK5K9KK2



    Events in Anbar mean that it will be very difficult for the people of the province to vote in the upcoming general election. Logistics are one problem, the fact that a third of the population has fled ongoing violence there and that many others have lost faith in the political process are others. Still, almost everyone else thinks it is imperative that the elections be held there.

    Nearly two months after the armed conflict between local militants and the Iraqi army started in Iraq’s Anbar province, a new political crisis is looming – Iraq’s elections.

    It doesn’t seem as though the largest cities in Anbar province – Fallujah and Ramadi – are in any way ready for the elections. In Ramadi there are still running street battles going on in certain neighbourhoods between militants and the Iraqi army, and Fallujah is still under the control of revolutionary militants.

    The conflict in Anbar turned violent when Iraqi government troops removed anti-government protests by Sunni Muslims that had been going for around a year.

    Meanwhile in the rest of Iraq general elections are supposed to be taking place on April 30. However problems in Anbar could affect, not only the province itself, where elections may be delayed, but countrywide voting and the eventual formation of a government could also be stalled.

    There are 15 seats allocated to Anbar province in parliament and the number of eligible voters is estimated at 900,000.

    The Independent High Electoral Commission, or IHEC, is the authority that is supposed to prepare Iraq for elections and run electoral procedures, such as voter registration and the actual voting.

    The first problem that IHEC faces is that around an estimated third of Anbar’s population has actually left the state, fleeing violence or the threat of it. Around 500,000 people have left, Anbar provincial council member, Nahla al-Rawi, told NIQASH. “That’s about one third of the population – last estimated at 1,636,831 by the Iraqi government,” al-Rawi said.

    A lot of those locals went to provinces they felt were safer, such as Iraqi Kurdistan, Salahaddin, Kirkuk, Diyala and Baghdad, al-Rawi added. They also went to towns in Anbar where they thought it would be safer, such as Ana, Haditha, Rawa and Heet.  

    To overcome the difficulties in updating electoral records for these displaced people, IHEC is considering forming mobile voter registration teams in areas where they’ve fled to, so that they can record their details and give them electronic voter ID cards. Knowing the problems IHEC has in carrying out these procedures in areas that are actually safe makes it hard to imagine how they will be able to deal with this successfully in far more difficult circumstances.  

    IHEC has also suggested that elections be held the traditional way. Rather than using electronic cards, would-be voters show their identity papers then dip their fingers in an indelible ink, which prevents them voting twice.  

    IHEC’s other almost impossible task in Anbar is actually holding the elections in the troubled province. IHEC’s office in Anbar is close to Iraqi army headquarters in Ramadi and it recently submitted a report on security issues for the general elections.

    According to a source from inside the office, “the report doesn’t contain good news”. The report apparently says that holding elections in Fallujah and in certain parts of Ramadi – in particular, the areas of Saqlawiya, Khalidiya, Malaab, 20th Street and Habbaniyah – will not be possible.
    IHEC proposed moving ballot boxes from these places to other safer areas within Anbar. But again, the problem of those displaced from Anbar’s most dangerous areas would most likely not be able to get to them anyway.

    “IHEC is looking at every possible option for holding elections in Anbar,” IHEC member Mohsen Jibara told NIQASH. “We will reach a final decision soon.”

    Of course, there are also plenty of other issues around holding general elections in Anbar that have nothing to do with the technical and logistical problems IHEC is trying to resolve.
    Firstly there is the concern that many Anbar locals will not want to participate in general elections. After all, before the current troubles started, many locals had been demonstrating for a long time to demand a peaceful reform of the political process in Iraq; those demands were never realised which hardly leaves them with a lot of trust in the political process.

    “Most of the people here say they are not going to participate in the elections,” one local tribal leader in Ramadi, Mahmoud al-Issawi, says. “Some say they won’t go to vote because of the dangerous conditions here and others say they won’t vote because they don’t think the elections will change anything.”

    “This is a major problem,” al-Issawi continued. “And I am very worried that, if elections are held while there are still military operations going on and many people are still in other parts of the country, then the results of any elections here won’t be accurate anyway.”

    Additionally some of Anbar’s clerics have been issuing fatwas – religious decrees – saying that people should not take part in the elections. One of the most important came from senior Sunni cleric, Abdul Malak al-Saadi, who the protesters considered an important spiritual leader. In a statement, al-Saadi said that he didn’t think the upcoming elections were legitimate.

    Additionally voting is likely to be far from the minds of those who have fled the violence in Anbar. Many are staying in schools or empty buildings that have only the most basic of facilities; a lot of the people who have come to Salahaddin are living rough on farms and in orchards. Those who fled to Diyala and Mosul are living in buildings related to religious institutions and in many cases there is more than one family to a room.

    “It is very difficult for the people living in these horrible conditions to think about going to vote,” MP Liqaa al-Wardi from Anbar told NIQASH. “They’re cold and they’re hungry and elections are just about the last thing they are thinking about.”

    It would also be very difficult for any would-be politicians to set about campaigning in Anbar. It would be impossible for a politician to tour the affected cities without feeling threatened. The anti-government militants in Anbar have also said that they don’t believe in these elections – they blame their own MPs and parliamentarians for what is going on in Anbar now and, previously, for what they saw as the marginalization and bad treatment of Sunni Muslims by the Iraqi government.

    In fact, any campaign posters and signs that have been put up in Anbar are torn down.  

    Even the politicians who are supposed to be running for a seat in Baghdad’s Parliament seem to think that elections in Anbar will have to be postponed – not just because of security problems but also because of humanitarian needs.  

    “I don't think that the elections can take place in Anbar,” Khalid al-Alwani, a Sunni Muslim and MP for the opposition Iraqiya bloc, told NIQASH. “If they are held, they’ll be a formality. There will be no real participation. There will also be lots of fraud. And the results are bound to favour the current government.”

    If the people of Anbar cannot take part in the general elections at the end of April, then this will most likely affect all of Iraq. Iraqi law says that it is permissible to postpone voting in one province under special circumstances – and these clearly exist. However it also means that if the elections are held and a parliament is formed, the new government will not be able to be officially created until all provinces have held elections – which would effectively paralyse the state.    

    And forming a government without elected representatives from Anbar is only likely to cause even more trouble.

    This may well be why Iraq’s current Grand Ayatollah, Ali al-Sistani, spiritual leader of millions of Shiite Muslims across the globe, and particularly the Shiite Muslims of Iraq, met with representatives from IHEC on February 28. Al-Sistani actually stays out of politics as much as possible and hasn’t met any politicians for about two years.

    this just in...  What a Face 

    At a press conference held after the meeting in Najaf, the IHEC members told assembled media that al-Sistani had asked them to ensure that the people of Anbar participate in the elections. Al-Sistani also repeated what he always says: that he doesn’t support any particular party and his position is neutral.

    http://www.niqash.org/articles/?id=3396


    Last edited by goodyboy on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 22:15; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

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    Welcome to all you guests reading the forum... study....We decided to open it for non-members on a read-only basis.......but we would love you to be a member which would give you posting privileges........... and access to the executive washroom........... and spa.......

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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  goodyboy on Sat 08 Mar 2014, 12:58

    I wonder if what comes around goes around...  What a Face 


    ...the little bird at the bottom says, "don't you just love democracy"
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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  goodyboy on Thu 13 Mar 2014, 18:42

    ...  What a Face 

    The Iraqi Election Commission in spotlight



    A worker from the Independent High Electoral Commission checks boxes containing ballots during vote counting in Basra, April 21, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Atef Hassan)


    Ever since its establishment in 2004, the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IHEC) has maintained a good deal of impartiality in an extremely divided political environment. Although the Sunni political forces accused it of electoral fraud and manipulation after the 2005 parliamentary elections, and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s coalition brought up similar accusations after the 2010 parliamentary elections, none of the accusations resulted in a refusal of the election results or in a big constitutional crisis.

    The April 2014 parliamentary elections are just around the corner, and electoral campaigns are preceding these. The pressure on the electoral process will mount as we approach the election date, which makes us wonder whether IHEC will be able to withstand in Iraq’s highly factional politics. The IHEC was founded to be an independent and impartial commission with the credibility to manage electoral processes. The United Nations supported the IHEC, and an international expert was a member of the first Board of Commissioners that was established under the authority of the Coalition Provincial Authority. However, the role of the UN dwindled after the commission developed its capacities and skills, expanded its institutions and gained electoral experience. Meanwhile, the Iraqi parliament assigned new commissioners by following the new habit of sectarian, ethnic and factional apportionment, just like most public positions.

    Gradually, the Board of Commissioners, which today includes nine members, became more factional, and some observers, independent politicians and small parties complain that its members are affiliated with the major parties. Still, this did not undermine the commission’s credibility. An expert who worked with the international team supporting the commission confirmed to Al-Monitor that the current council enjoys good degree of professionalism and experience. The impartiality of the commission was prioritized over the independence of its members, and this impartiality was guaranteed by the quasi-partisan representation in the commission. However, this arrangement was to the detriment of the small parties that were not represented and, as a result, cannot exert direct pressure on the commission’s members, when needed.

    The Council of Commissioners issued, in February 2014, a statement in which it announced its decision to ban Shams Network from monitoring the elections. Shams is a major network that was founded to ensure the safety and impartiality of the electoral process. It has worked in the past alongside the commission. The commission announced that its decision came after the said network breached the code of conduct. The commission specifically referred to the statements of the head of the network, Hoger Jato, regarding the electronic voter cards system that the commission intends to implement in the upcoming elections.

    Jato issued a statement claiming that the commission’s statement is politicized, in form and content. He also indicated mistakes committed by the commission, like squandering public money, failing to adopt an accurate and solid electoral register, increasingly assigning positions in the commission based on family and factional preferences and giving inaccurate figures regarding the update of the electoral register.

    The commission did not wait long before replying to the statement of Shams Network. The spokesman for the commission stated on Feb. 10 that Shams is acting as though it were a political party and its claims are an attempt to “distort the electoral process.” The speaker claimed that the network’s reports are relying on false information and inaccurate allegations. This is the first time that a public clash between the commission and a major monitoring network in the country takes place. If this clash evolves and expands to include other observation networks, the commission’s interests to render its electoral activity legitimate might be jeopardized, in a political environment that is marred by distrust between the competing parties or wariness of the transparency of the institutions.

    In an attempt to distance itself from the political conflict, the Board of Commissioners issued, on Jan. 11, a decision not to welcome any member of parliament or ministers at the national bureau of the commission. Although this decision symbolized the commission’s endeavors to resist political intervention, most pressure, in fact, comes in other indirect forms. A former employee in the commission told Al-Monitor that focusing on the leadership of the commission to understand its political influence is not enough. The political forces have focused their efforts in the past on the lowest rank employees who deal directly with the voting process. Mostly, the concerns about possible fraud are concentrated on polling centers in closed or unstable regions, or military voting, that are hard to monitor in compliance with sound international standards.

    Clearly, the electoral registry remains a problem that the commission regularly faces, and it was one of the reasons that pushed the commission to adopt the electronic card system. A big budget was invested in this system to guarantee that no breaches happen. Still, some believe that a large number of voters did not get the electronic card for lack of a sound distribution mechanism, thus triggering concerns that this might lead to problems on election day.

    Unlike other independent bodies, such as the Media and Communications Commission and the Commission of Integrity, the electoral commission is still credible and professional in its work, and it still has not succumbed to the pressure of the cabinet. However, the intensity of the current conflict — which has taken a political turn with the assassination of a Sadrist election candidate — indicates that there will be greater pressure in these elections than in any previous electoral process, given the fact that it is the first parliamentary election after the complete withdrawal of the US forces. Iraq’s conditions, just like those in any country experiencing serious divisions and having fragile institutions, will keep raising legitimate questions about the integrity of the electoral process, its level of fairness and the reaction of major political actors to its results.

    The behavior of the electoral commission will be decisive in answering these questions.


    HARITH HASAN
    Contributor, Iraq Pulse
    Harith Hasan has a PhD in political science and his main research interests are the state, sectarianism and political transition in Iraq and the Middle East. He has written extensively for various English and Arabic publications. On Twitter: @harith_hasan


    Original Al-Monitor Translations
    إقرأ باللغة العربية


    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/02/iraq-elections-commission-challenge-transparency.html##ixzz2vTxGoKZf
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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  goodyboy on Thu 13 Mar 2014, 18:44

    from the iBeach...  What a Face 
    ...Iraq Pulse tweet...





    Bitter Maliki-Nujaifi exchanges strain political system



    Iraqi parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi (fourth from right), Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (3R),
    then-Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi (2R) and the head of the Sunni Endowment,
    Ahmed Abdul-Ghafoor al-Samarraie (far right), attend a ceremony in Baghdad, Feb. 15
    (photo by REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen)

    In a deeply divided country whose main parties rely on identity politics to renew their legitimacy, electoral seasons usually constitute an opportunity for ethnic and sectarian mobilization. Political parties and leaders, which present themselves as protectors of their “communities,” increasingly tend to adopt inflexible policies and exaggerate in their confrontational stances.

    This is what is happening today in the confrontation between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, and between Maliki and Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani. The matter is not restricted to the mobilization of electoral bases, but also includes attempts to set the stage for a post-election negotiation phase. The current strictness in policies stems from a feeling that there is no political value in showing flexibility and giving up pressure cards at this stage. The elections in Iraq have become a prelude for laborious negotiations aiming at distributing main positions and ranks. Each party is getting ready for this stage by gathering pressure cards against its enemies.

    Nevertheless, it seems that the current escalation might go beyond electoral calculations and threaten the presence of the political system, which was established in Iraq as per the 2005 Constitution. In his weekly address on March 5, Maliki declared that he considers the parliament “finished” and lacking legitimacy. He blamed Nujaifi for “the legal and constitutional violations” that turned the parliament into an institution that “disrupts the government’s work.”

    Maliki went as far as calling on MPs to boycott the parliamentary sessions as long as Nujaifi insists on not putting the budget to a vote. In the first threat of its kind, Maliki declared that he would make disbursements from the budget without waiting for the approval of the parliament. Maliki added that he had already challenged the parliament’s work before the federal court.

    On the day following Maliki’s speech, Nujaifi held a news conference in which he accused Maliki of leading a coup against constitutional legitimacy and of running away from popular accountability that is represented by the parliament. Nujaifi added that Maliki’s disbursement from the budget without the parliament’s approval is considered “embezzlement of public funds.” Moreover, he pointed out that Maliki and the acting ministers of defense and interior rejected the parliament’s invitation to attend the session and discuss the security issues in the country.

    This is the first time that the dispute between both sides has reached the point of withdrawing legitimacy. A huge constitutional crisis is underway, especially since the government extracts its legitimacy from the parliament’s presence under a regime that is considered, at least theoretically, a parliamentary one. Moreover, Articles 62 and 57 of the Constitution respectively state, “The cabinet shall submit the draft general budget bill and the closing account to the parliament for approval,” and “The parliamentary session in which the general budget is being presented shall not end until approval of the budget.” Maliki’s speech, which coincided with his allies’ calls to dissolve the parliament or declare a state of emergency, proves concerns that he might be seeking to remain in power, regardless of the results of the elections.

    Coinciding with this escalation, relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Baghdad have been heading downhill because the two sides have not been able to agree on the budget law. Barzani threatened “to reconsider relations with Baghdad because the Kurds cannot live under threats.”

    Kurdish officials proposed the confederation alternative for the relationship between Baghdad and Erbil to replace the current federal system. Aref Tayfour, deputy speaker of the Iraqi parliament and member of the Kurdish Alliance, issued a statement on Jan. 19 in which he indicated that a confederation was the best solution for Iraq to face “the risks of power monopolization, terrorism and corruption.”

    However, the confederation formula proposed by Kurdish officials is still unclear. It is restricted to general ideas that do not solve the basic problems related to the distribution of resources, the disputed regions and the border. Moreover, one side alone cannot declare a confederation, because it is a system for bilateral or multilateral relations. It is also unclear whether the Iraqi Kurdistan Region has discussed the issue with the regional and international forces, especially given that the United States, Iran and Turkey often reiterate that they prefer to preserve Iraq’s unity.

    The recent stances of Maliki, Nujaifi and Barzani indicate that the Constitution is no longer capable of containing the conflicts and divisions in the country. The persisting escalation and the failure to reach a political agreement will destroy the rules of the game that has been governing Iraqi politics since 2005. Perhaps this outcome is inevitable due to founding principles that governed these rules and institutionalized ethnic and sectarian divisions. As a result, discords, crises and conflicts over shares, positions and resources have resurfaced.

    The prime minister wants to remain in power at any cost, and his opponents have not been able to present an alternative or clear vision to reform the system. These are signs that this regime might be on the verge of collapse.


    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/03/iraq-sectarian-ethnic-mobilization-elections.html##ixzz2vbn33D1x
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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  goodyboy on Thu 13 Mar 2014, 18:45

    ...  What a Face 
    translation edits applied...

    Allawi expects unfair elections
    Thursday, 13 March 2014 14:56




    Shafaq News / The head of the National Bloc, Iyad Allawi questioned on Thursday (questioned) the integrity of the upcoming parliamentary elections because the United Nations will not have a (mediating) role as before, describing the electronic voter's card as mere "bubble."

    The elections are scheduled to take place on (the) 30th of April, which will (be the first election) to use the electronic voter's card to give more transparency to the process, according to the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC).  The card in which voters can’t cast their ballots without it contains information about the name of the voter and the electoral center that the citizen will vote in.  Allawi told “Shafaq News “that " voter's card are bought and sold."  IHEC as well as supervising and political parties have spotted in recent weeks cases of electronic voter cards (for) sale, especially in Kirkuk province.  But it is unclear precisely how parties (have been) able to purchase those cards to exploit and vote in its favor.

    Allawi added that "the next election will not be fair and will not reflect the view of the Iraqi people because the UN has no role in IHEC as before."  “Appointments in IHEC are being carried out by one party," in reference to what seems to be the coalition of his rival Prime Minister , Nuri al-Maliki.  The elections are heading towards extremely difficult conditions in Iraq, where sectarian and political divisions are taking place as well as the ongoing military operations in Anbar since the beginning of this year.  Fighting between Iraqi forces and government opponents, including al- Qaeda has forced tens of thousands of residents of Fallujah and Ramadi cities in Anbar to safer provinces.  Allawi said that the displaced (Anbar region) will not be able to vote in the elections...also see post #4 above in this thread for more on the tragedy in Anbar and potential effects on the elections...  What a Face 

    http://www.shafaaq.com/en/politics/9215-allawi-expects-unfair-elections-.html


    for more on the IHEC, please see post #7 above in this thread...
    ...I posted this a few days ago...an important issue...
     What a Face
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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  goodyboy on Fri 14 Mar 2014, 23:51

    ...  What a Face 
    translation edits applied...

    Source close to al-Maliki...There in front of me, only to escape from Iraq, imprisonment or third term
    13-03-2014 11:30 AM



    Revealed by an adviser to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki...
    ...al-Maliki told him that "in front of me (are) three options (for me) after the parliamentary elections.

    ...the chancellor (said), who declined to be named, that "Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told him and I quote, "he (I) have three options after the end of the parliamentary elections...noting that (among) these options are first ones (first of all) to escape out of Iraq, while the second is a prison sentence because of litigation and large (charges) against him and (if there is not an absence of victory) in the elections, then the third option is to take the latter (as) the third term.

    He noted, that the Prime Minister is very afraid of the parliamentary elections due to declining popularity and live in a state (living in a state with real, daily feedback from the state of Iraq), which is a daily concern, (given the) unenviable situation in light of the difficult things.

    http://www.alzawra.com/index.php?page=article&id=2427
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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  goodyboy on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 20:28

    from the iBeach...  What a Face 

    I think we all should think through this unfolding scenario...it is beginning to have nuances of a Shakespearean tragedy...and as much as it feels good to consider Maliki as a nemesis, along with our focusing on his potential demise, which right now is somewhat gratifying and assuages our dinarian frustration, we do need to think of the alternatives and potential unravelling...what if he is not reelected...then who, what, etc.

    ...I do believe if he is reelected, in some ways this may not be as bad at it now seems...Maliki, in spite of himself, has been pushing to pass crucial and necessary economic and banking laws...the laws that are crucial and necessary for the economic infrastructure to logistically and safely handle, maintain and sustain any appreciation in value of their currency both at the national and international level...and for all we know, Maliki may be the pawn in the eyes and hands of the master chess player, seeking to see Iraq get to just the right position, so the next strategic move of currency reform towards checkmate can begin...and once it starts (or ends), then its going to be game on....just think about it...


    Last edited by goodyboy on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 20:58; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  butterfly on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 20:57

    I have never felt Maliki the problem, but I'm always on the other side of what others think and say.

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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  goodyboy on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 21:18

    butterfly wrote:I have never felt Maliki the problem, but I'm always on the other side of what others think and say.

    IMO, from a macroscopic perspective, the concern continues to be the political turmoil seemingly embedded in the very fabric of Iraq...
    ... Kirk Sowell, Iraqi political risk analyst, recently stated in a briefing on Iraq's political situation that the elections can be perfectly fair, and still reproduce the current political mess..."the real problem is the oligarchic (tyrannical) nature of the political system as it is now."

    Kirk Sowell, Iraqi political risk analyst, attorney, historian, translator...
    http://about.me/kirksowell/
    http://www.uticensis.com
    https://www.facebook.com/kirk.sowell.1?fref=ts
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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  butterfly on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 22:16

    I find that all governments have their turmoil, disappointments, confusions, corruptions, etc etc.....our government is a prime example of that and it is getting worse by the years.

    We have citizens that could care less because they have to "stick to their political belief" and won't look at the whole picture.

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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  Guest on Sun 16 Mar 2014, 09:57

    butterfly wrote: I'm always on the other side of what others think and say.......


    No!.....I don't believe that.....Really?......I'm....I'm....I'm......shocked!!!....... Shocked 

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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  butterfly on Sun 16 Mar 2014, 10:14

    Zig wrote:
    butterfly wrote: I'm always on the other side of what others think and say.......


    No!.....I don't believe that.....Really?......I'm....I'm....I'm......shocked!!!....... Shocked 


     lol! lol! lol! lol! 

    You can see that my thoughts have been right.

    Now they are talking about the absence of Talabani. Really???? Get with your constitution, that gentleman should have been replaced January 12, 2013....thirty days after Talabani went to the hospital.

    When they start following their constitution that they have set for all.....maybe things will start to happen.
     scratch scratch scratch

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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  Guest on Sun 16 Mar 2014, 12:06

    butterfly wrote:
    Zig wrote:
    butterfly wrote: I'm always on the other side of what others think and say.......


    No!.....I don't believe that.....Really?......I'm....I'm....I'm......shocked!!!....... Shocked 


     lol! lol! lol! lol! 

    You can see that my thoughts have been right.

    Now they are talking about the absence of Talabani. Really???? Get with your constitution, that gentleman should have been replaced January 12, 2013....thirty days after Talabani went to the hospital.

    When they start following their constitution that they have set for all.....maybe things will start to happen.
     scratch scratch scratch

    I agree Butter yet I really think they have used their constitution to wipe somebodies butt! What a Face  It seems to not exist anymore over there!
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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

    Post  butterfly on Sun 16 Mar 2014, 12:30

    SueR wrote:
    butterfly wrote:
    Zig wrote:
    butterfly wrote: I'm always on the other side of what others think and say.......


    No!.....I don't believe that.....Really?......I'm....I'm....I'm......shocked!!!....... Shocked 


     lol! lol! lol! lol! 

    You can see that my thoughts have been right.

    Now they are talking about the absence of Talabani. Really???? Get with your constitution, that gentleman should have been replaced January 12, 2013....thirty days after Talabani went to the hospital.

    When they start following their constitution that they have set for all.....maybe things will start to happen.
     scratch scratch scratch

    I agree Butter yet I really think they have used their constitution to wipe somebodies butt! What a Face  It seems to not exist anymore over there!

    They will have to get their act together to comply with the UN and IMF before they can go international, so we all wait and wait and wait......LOL

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    Re: Upcoming Elections in Iraq...

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