December 2005 Parliamentary Elections
Elections to the Council of Representatives were held on December 15, 2005. The Kurdistan Alliance, Iraqi National List, Tawafuq Front, Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, and Unified Iraqi Alliance were electoral slates consisting of the representatives from various Iraqi political parties. The United Iraqi Coalition (UIC), also known as the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), a Shi'ite bloc, won 128 of 275 seats in the Council of Representatives. The UIC was composed of ISCI, the al-Sadr movement, al-Da'wa al-Islamiyya, Da'wa Tanzim al-Iraq, Jama'at al-Fadilah, and various independents.
In the parliamentary elections of December 2005, influential radical Shia leader Moqtada al Sadr brought his faction into the United Iraqi Alliance, which meanwhile lost the backing of Sistani and the participation of an important third party, the Iraqi National Congress. In those elections, the alliance lost 12 seats compared with January 2005. Of the alliance's constituent parties, in 2006 SCIRI held 36 seats in the Council of Representatives; the Sadr Party, 28; the Islamic Virtue Party, 15; and Dawa, 13. Nevertheless, Dawa leader Nouri al Maliki was a compromise appointment as prime minister of the first permanent government.
Iraq's Kurds are represented by two major parties, which since 2003 have cooperated in the government of the Kurdish Autonomous Region. Both parties have supported the U.S. presence in Iraq and played important roles in interim governments. The secular, nationalist Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is the larger of the two parties and held one of two vice presidencies in the Interim Iraqi Government. Founded by the main Kurdish tribe, the Barzanis, the KDP has established good relations with the Turkish government. The Popular Union of Kurdistan, led by Jalal Talabani, also has a secular nationalist agenda and represents Kurds closest to the Iran border. In the parliamentary elections of January 2005, the Kurdish alliance of the two parties gained 75 seats, second to the United Iraqi Alliance. In the elections of December 2005, the alliance lost 22 seats but still held the second largest block in the Council of Representatives.
Politicians with Sunni religious affiliations, including the Tawafuq and Hewar groups, won 59 seats in the Council of Representatives in the elections of December 2005. The Iraqi Accordance Front or Tawafuq was the Sunni contingent which was taken into the cabinet after the 2005 vote. With 16% of seats in parliament, it was composed of several parties, without great cohesion.
- The Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), which dates to the 1960s, is modeled on the Muslim Brotherhood. While it represents Sunnis, it is more nationalist than Sunni, and has a history and by 2007 had some organization.
- The Ahl al-Iraq (People of Iraq), was a mixture of secularists, tribal and religious dignitaries, such as Adnan Dulaimi, with a nationalist focus.
- The National Dialogue Council [relatively insignificant by 2007].
The Kurdish bloc known as the Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan (which includes the KDP and PUK) won 53 legislative seats. Ayad Allawi's Iraqiyya or Iraqi National List (INL) won 25 seats. The Iraqiya list, headed by Ayyad Allawi, was the main secular bloc to run in the December 2005 election. This group constitutes the bulk of the educated Iraqis who think in national, rather than communal or ethnic, terms. Although they only got 9 percent of the vote and have little chance of forming a government, they had positions in the cabinet and could help in contributing to a more balanced, non-sectarian government in the future. The remaining seats were composed of various independents.
Sunni Arab relations with Coalition Forces greatly improved in 2008, as did those between local Sunni security groups and the GOI despite lingering mutual mistrust. Prime Minister (PM) Maliki's operations against Shia militants demonstrated to many Sunni Arab leaders that he was willing to act in national - not sectarian - interests. Tawafuq, the main Sunni Arab political coalition, returned to the Iraqi government in July 2008.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|