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Pro-Iran shiite parties secure majority in iraqi provincial elections

1 min

According to the final results of the December 18 provincial elections announced by the Electoral Commission on Thursday, Shiite parties with close ties to Iran have won the majority of seats in most Iraqi governorates.

The election was accompanied by a strong sense of disillusionment among a portion of the public © Mena Today 

According to the final results of the December 18 provincial elections announced by the Electoral Commission on Thursday, Shiite parties with close ties to Iran have won the majority of seats in most Iraqi governorates.

This election, the first of its kind in a decade, was held ten days ago in 15 out of 18 Iraqi provinces, with the three provinces in the Kurdistan Region set to hold separate elections next year.

Established after the US invasion and the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the provincial councils enjoy significant powers, including the election of the province's governor and the allocation of budgets for healthcare, transportation, and education.

In nine provinces in central and southern Iraq, two trends have emerged: the big winners are either the parties of the incumbent governors or, more notably, the coalitions formed by pro-Iran parties that dominate the Parliament.

These results differ little from the preliminary results announced the day after the vote.

In provinces such as Baghdad, Dhi Qar, Missane, Basra, Babylon, and Wasit, the same alliances often compete for the top four positions:

  • The "Nabni" (We Build) coalition, led by Hadi al-Ameri, a senior commander of the pro-Iran Hashd al-Shaabi, formerly paramilitary forces now integrated into the regular forces.
  • The "State of Law" coalition, led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, also part of the same political bloc.

Closely following them is the coalition of the Patriotic Forces of the State (Ammar al-Hakim and former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi).

In the capital, Baghdad, "State of Law" and "Nabni" lead with nine seats each out of 52, followed by Taqadom (Progress in Arabic), the party of influential Sunni figure Mohamed al-Halboussi, a former Speaker of Parliament.

Mr. Halboussi tops the list in his predominantly Sunni province of al-Anbar, in the western part of the country.

In Iraq, elections and appointments to high offices are often challenging processes that can take several months, complicated by fiercely negotiated agreements.

The voter turnout for the December 18 elections reached 41%, according to the Electoral Commission.

The election was accompanied by a strong sense of disillusionment among a portion of the public in a country rich in hydrocarbons but plagued by endemic corruption. Its citizens grapple with crumbling infrastructure and failing public services on a daily basis.

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