Sunday, April 26, 2009

Iraq’s New Provincial Councils – Update

More information is now available about Iraq’s new provincial governments. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law list was the big winner coming in first in nine of the fourteen provinces that held elections. Early reports were that Maliki was attempting to forge an anti-Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) coalition across the south. State of Law reached out to the Sadrists’ Independent Trend of the Noble Ones, the Fadhila Party, ex-Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari’s National Reform Party, parliamentarian Saleh al-Mutlaq’s Iraqi National Dialogue Front, and ex-Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s Iraqi National List. Maliki’s List was able to form governments in Babil, Dhi Qar, Karbala, and Qadisiyah with various combinations of these parties. In Maysan, Najaf, and Wasit however, State of Law cut deals with the Supreme Council to rule. This has not gone well in all of those places however, as Najaf has a State of Law head of council, but still no governor. Some of this was due to differences amongst local State of Law officials. In Baghdad and Basra State of Law won majorities so they didn’t need to connect with other parties. The parliamentary coalition that actually keeps Maliki in office made up of the SIIC, the Iraqi Accordance Front and the Kurds, maintained their ties in Diyala. The Accordance Front also gained control of Salahaddin. Otherwise this group was the big loser as the Kurdish Alliance lost control of Ninewa, while the SIIC lost its majority across the south. New Sunni parties like al-Hadbaa took power in Ninewa with the help of the Islamic Party, and the Awakening of Iraq and Independents came to office in Anbar. Muthanna is the only province that has no government. There the State of Law was tied with the SIIC’s Al-Mihrab Martyr List with five seats apiece. Maliki has tried to form an anti-Supreme Council alliance there, but the parties are evenly split 50-50 leading to deadlock so far.

Overall, Maliki’s State of Law might have won the most provinces, but the Prime Minister’s plans have not worked out as well as he wished. While his List will run all of the nine provinces that they won in, the alliances that they wanted have not always come to fruition, resulting in the Supreme Council hanging onto power in three southern provinces, plus Diyala. More importantly, the SIIC and Maliki’s constituency have stopped the Prime Minister from making moves like reaching out to Baathists meant to solidify bonds with Saleh al-Mutlaq’s Iraqi National Dialogue Front. This will all complicate Maliki’s attempt to form a new ruling coalition after the parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for the end of this year at the earliest.

Note: Not all the members of the ruling coalitions are known. What are listed are those that have been reported so far.

Anbar – 29 seats
Governor Qaseem Muhammad – Independent
Head of Council Jassem Mohammed Hamad – Iraqi National Project
Ruling Coalition
Awakening of Iraq and Independents – 8 seats
Iraqi National Project – 6 seats
4 other unnamed parties

Babil – 30 seats
Governor Salman Hassan al-Zarkani – Independent
1st Deputy Governor Iskander Wattout – Civil Society List
2nd Deputy Governor Sadeq al-Mhanna – National Reform Party
Ruling Coalition
State of Law – 8 seats - Visser
Civil Society List – 3 seats
Independent Trend of the Noble Ones (Sadrists) – 3 seats
Iraqi National List – 3 seats
National Reform Party – 3 seats

Baghdad – 57 seats
Governor Salah Abd al-Razzaq – State of Law
2nd Deputy Governor Kamil Saeed al-Saeedi - ?
Head of Council Kamil al-Zaydi – State of Law
Deputy Head of Council Thamir Riyad al-Addad – State of Law
Ruling Coalition
State of Law – 28 seats

Basra – 35 seats
Governor Shitagh Abbud – State of Law
Head of Council Jabbar Amin – State of Law
Ruling Coalition
State of Law – 20 seats

Dhi Qar – 31 seats
Governor Taleb Kazem Abdulkarim al-Hassan – State of Law
Deputy Governor Hassa Layoos - ?
2nd Deputy Governor Haydar Bunyan - ?
Head of Council Qusai al-Ibadi – State of Law
Deputy Head of Council Abdulhadi Mohan – State of Law
Ruling Coalition
State of Law - 13 seats
Independent Trend of the Noble Ones (Sadrists) - 7 seats

Diyala – 29 seats
Governor Abdulnasir al-Muntasirbillah – Iraqi Accordance Front
Deputy Governor – Furat Mohammed - Diyala Coalition
Head of Council Taleb Mohammed Hassan – Kurdish Alliance
Ruling Coalition
Iraqi Accordance Front – 9 seats
Kurdish Alliance – 6 seats
Diyala Coalition (SIIC) – 2 seats

Karbala – 27 seats
Governor Amaleddin Majeed Hameed Kadhem – State of Law
1st Deputy Governor Abbas al-Musawi – Hope of Rafidain
2nd Deputy Governor Youssefl al-Habboubi – Independent
Head of Council Amal al-Rafidayn – Hope of Rafidain
Ruling Coalition
State of Law – 9 seats
Hope of Rafidain – 9 seats
Youssef al-habboubi – 1 seat

Maysan – 27 seats
Governor Muhammad al-Sudani – State of Law
Head of Council ? – Al-Mihrab Martyr List
Ruling Coalition
State of Law – 8 seats
Al-Mihrab Martyr List (SIIC) – 8 seats

Muthanna – 26 seats
No government

Najaf – 28 seats
Head of Council ? – State of Law
Ruling Coalition
State of Law - 7 seats
Al Mihrab Martyr List – 7 seats

Ninewa – 37 seats
Governor Atheel al-Nujafi – Al Hadbaa List
2nd Deputy Governor Hassan Mahmoud Ali – Independent
Head of Council Faisal Abdullah al-Yawir – Al Hadbaa List
Deputy Head of Council Wild-dar Zebari – Al Hadbaa List
Ruling Coalition
Al Hadbaa List – 19 seats
Iraqi Islamic Party – 3 seats

Qadisiyah – 28 seats
Governor Salim Husayn – State of Law
Ruling Coalition
State of Law – 11 seats
Iraqi National List – 3 seats

Salahaddin – 28 seats
Governor Mutashar al-Aliwi – Iraqi Accordance Front
Ruling Coalition
Iraqi Accordance Front – 5 seats

Wasit – 28 seats
Governor Lateef Hamad al-Tarfa – Independent
Head of Council Mahmoud Abdulrida Talal – Al-Mihrab Martyr List
Ruling Coalition
State of Law – 13 seats
Al-Mihrab Martyr List (SIIC) – 6 seats


Abdullah, Muhammed, “sectarian polarization in diyala,” Niqash, 4/20/09

Agence France Presse, “Sadr renews idea of local alliances with Iraq PM,” 2/20/09

Aswat al-Iraq, “4 blocs to contest the results of Diala council votes,” 4/12/09
- “Atheel Nejefi elected as Ninewa governor,” 4/12/09
- “Babel council elects independent engineer as governor,” 4/18/09
- “Baghdad’s second deputy governor elected,” 4/20/09
- “KA, IAF agree to share leading posts in Diala,” 2/24/09
- “Karbala governor assumes duty after republican decree issued,” 4/19/09
- “New Baghdad governor elected,” 4/12/09
- “New Diala governor elected,” 4/11/09
- “New governor picked for Anbar,” 4/11/09
- “New provincial council’s head, deputy selected in Thi-Qar,” 4/16/09
- “Presidential decrees to appoint governors of Thi-Qar, Babel,” 4/22/09
- “Wassit governor, provincial council chief elected,” 4/15/09
- “Zaydi unanimously elected to chair Baghdad provincial council,” 4/8/09

Hanna, Michael Wahid, “The reawakened specter of Iraqi civil war,” Middle East Research and Information Project, 4/17/09

Reilly, Corinne and Abbas, Ali, “Kurdish-Arab tensions continue to grow in northern Iraq,” McClatchy Newspapers, 4/14/09

Reuters, “Tensions rise in Iraq’s Mosul amid Kurdish boycott,” 4/22/09

Roads To Iraq Blog, “Reconciliation without reconciliation,” 3/10/09

Al-Sa’dawi, Ahmad, “post-election analysis: real change or more of the same?” Niqash, 2/19/09

Shadid, Anthony, “New Alliance In Iraq Cross Sectarian Lines,” Washington Post, 3/20/09

Visser, Rediar, “Iraq’s New Provincial Councils: A Mixed Picture North of Baghdad, Unexpected Complications in the Centre and the South,”, 4/13/09
- “Maliki Suffers Setbacks as Samarrai is Confirmed as New Speaker and More Governors Are Elected South of Baghdad,”, 4/19/09

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