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Political Parties

Secular Nationalist Parties269.45%
National Iraqi List / Iraqiya259.09% 613.04%91
Iraqi Nation List (Mithal al-Alusi)10.36%
National Coalition (Wataniyya)21
National Iraqiyun Gathering28
Shi'a Parties13047.27%159
State of Law [Nuri al-Maliki]8994
Da'wa al-Islamiya Party
Iraqi National Alliance7030
United Iraqi Alliance UIA12846.55%2145.65%
Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq SCIRI/ISCI510.87%
Da'wa al-Islamiya Party 12.17%
Da'wa Tandhim36.52%
Free Men Coalition (Ahrar) Sadrist Trend48.70%31
Islamic Action12.17%
National Reform Trend 16
Fadilah Party (Virtue)6
Sunni Parties5821.09%
Accord Front / Tawafuq4416.00%919.57%
Iraqi Islamic Party - IIP
Ahl al-Iraq (People of Iraq)
Iraqi Dialogue Front114.00%11
Liberation and Reconciliation31.09%
Kurdish Parties5821.09%
Kurdistan Alliance5319.27%817.39%43
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK48.70%19
Kurdish Democratic Party KDP48.70%25
Kurdistan Islamic Union51.82%
Gorran [Change Movement]9
Minority Parties31.09%24.35%
Two Rivers List (Assyrian)10.36%
Yazidi Movement10.36%
Iraqi Turkman Front10.36%

Significant Iraqi Political Parties

Assyrian Democratic Movement Yunadim KANNA
Badr OrganizationHadi al-AMIRI
Constitutional Monarchy Movement - CMM Sharif Ali Bin al-HUSAYN
Da'wa al-Islamiya Party Nuri al-MALIKI
Da'wa Tanzim Hashim al-MUSAWI branch
Da-wa Tanzim Abd al-Karim al-ANZI branch
Fadilah Party (Virtue)Hasan al-SHAMMARI and Ammar TUAMA
Future National Gathering Rafi al-ISSAWI
General Conference of Iraqi People Adnan al-DULAYMI
Goran (Change) List Nushirwan MUSTAFA
Independent Iraqi Alliance or IIA Falah al-NAQIB
Iraqi Communist Party Hamid MAJID
Iraqi Constitutional Party Jawad al-BULANI
Iraqi Covenant Gathering Ahmad Abd al-Ghafur al-SAMARRAI
Iraqi Front for National Dialogue Salih al-MUTLAQ
Iraqi Hizballah Karim Mahmud al-MUHAMMADAWI
Iraqi Independent Democrats - IID Adnan PACHACHI, Mahdi al-HAFIZ
Iraqi Islamic Party - IIPUsama al-TIKRITI Tariq al-HASHIMI
Iraqi Justice and Reform Movement Shaykh Abdallah al-YAWR
Iraqi National Accord - INAAyad ALLAWI
Iraqi National Alliance Ibrahim al-JAFARI
Iraqi National Congress - INCAhmad CHALABI
Iraqi National Council for Dialogue or INCD Khalaf Ulayan al-Khalifawi al-DULAYMI
Iraqi National Movement (see Iraqi National Accord)
Iraqi National Unity Movement or INUM Ahmad al-KUBAYSI
Iraqi Unity Alliance Nauaf Saud ZAID
Islamic Action Organization or IAO Ayatollah Muhammad al-MUDARRISI
Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq or ISCI (SCIRI) Ammar al-HAKIM
Jama'at al Fadilah or JAF Muhammad Ali al-YAQUBI
Kurdish Democratic Party KDP Masud BARZANI
Kurdistan Islamic Group (aka Islamic Group of Kurdistan) Ali BAPIR
Kurdistan Islamic UnionMohammed FARAI Salah ad-Din Muhammad BAHA al-DIN
National Iraqiyun Gathering Usama al-NUJAYFI
National Movement for Reform and Development Jamal al-KARBULI
National Reform Trend Ibrahim al-JAFARI
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)Jalal TALABANI
Sadrist Trend Muqtada al-SADR
Sahawa al-Iraq [Awakening]Ahmad al-RISHAWI
State of Law Coalition Nouri al-MALIKI
United Coalition Usama al-NUJAYFI

Although Shia leader Ayatollah Sistani had opposed the formation of political organizations, he approved the formation of a Shia-dominated coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance, to contest the parliamentary elections of January 2005. In the early post-Saddam Hussein years, the two major formal Shia parties were the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution (SCIRI) and Islamic Dawa (known as Dawa). SCIRI maintains close ties in Iran, commands a militia force of 10,000, and seeks a strong political role for the Islamic clergy. Since its return from exile in Iran in 2003, SCIRI had projected a more pluralistic image in a successful effort to broaden its support. It has supported the U.S. presence in Iraq and the 2005 parliamentary elections. Dawa began in 1958 as an Islamic revolutionary party, existed in exile during the Hussein regime, and emerged as an advocate of Islamic reform and modernization of religious institutions.

In the parliamentary elections of January 2005, the United Iraqi Alliance gained 140 of the 275 seats contested, and Dawa leader Ibrahim al Jafari was named prime minister of the transitional government. A majority of the ministries of Iraq’s central government — once controlled by the Ba’ath Party, but largely staffed by technocrats — became aligned with, and then dominated by, competing political parties. Sadrists seized the Health and Education ministries. Employing the model of service delivery embraced by Hezbollah — the radical Islamic Shi’a group based in Lebanon — they openly deployed ministry resources to build support among the Shi’a underclass. At the same time, SCIRI, the largest Shi’a political party, took control of the Ministry of the Interior — and its powerful internal security apparatus — and later the Ministry of Finance. The major Sunni party, the Iraqi Accord Front, would exert a lesser degree of control over the newly formed Ministry of Defense. Who received services and who did not was increasingly decided on the basis of political allegiance and sectarian identity. The capture of central ministries by political parties had enduring consequences for reconstruction and for the development of a functioning Iraqi state.

For the 2010 election, there were 276 political entities registered to participate in the elections. Most choose to form coalitions either before or after the elections. According to the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), of 107 electoral lists, 39 will be coalitions and 68 will be independent entities.

As of September 2012, the U.S. government had obligated $1.91 billion and expended $1.82 billion to strengthen democratic governance and civil society in Iraq. Political imbroglios aside, the peaceable execution of multiple democratic elections in Iraq is a reconstruction success story.

The U.S. reconstruction program inadvertently fostered a “triangle of political patronage,” involving political parties, government officials, and sectarian groups. This lethal axis fomented a brew of terrorism and corruption that poisoned the country. The unrestrained growth of corruption allowed it to become an “institution unto itself in Iraq.” This substantially diminished the potential for reconstruction efforts to have a positive effect. The existence of militias, al-Qaeda gangs, and the reliance of Americans on certain Iraqi political parties caused the emergence of sectarian controversies that hindered Iraqi governance. Sectarian groups became embedded in most of the country’s ministries and institutions, impeding progress. Additionally, foreign interference in Iraq’s matters weakened the national political stance, resulting in a country that lacked a free political administration focused on the needs of the Iraqi people.


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Page last modified: 01-07-2014 19:03:51 ZULU