The Dawa Party officially announced what many were expecting the last month or so. The party said that it would not run in the 2018 elections, thus allowing its members to run separately. That meant that Prime Minister Haidar Abadi could run on his Nasr list and Vice President Nouri al-Maliki could maintain his State of Law. The party made this decision rather than break apart. As Harith Hasan al-Qarawee pointed out, Dawa feels that it needs to maintain control of the premiership to remain relevant. It therefore thought it best to keep the façade of unity despite the deep divide between those two figures.
Abadi’s Nasr includes his faction of Dawa, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Hussein Shahristani’s Independents, Fadhila, and three small Sunni parties, one led by former Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi. There is talk that the pro-Iran Fatah list made up of 20 Hashd factions may align with the prime minister as well along with Ammar Hakim’s Hikmat and Moqtada al-Sadr’s new party. That leaves Maliki with a rump State of Law as the majority of parties that used to be under its umbrella have joined Abadi. While there is too much dislike for Maliki to become prime minister again, he was hoping to throw his weight behind another contender to depose Abadi. Right now, it doesn’t look like he has any chance of achieving that goal and Abadi is lined up to win the majority of the Shiite vote. Things could change for the PM, but Maliki definitely looks isolated for now.
Iraq News Network, “Supreme Council declares alliance with Abadi and Conquest,” 1/11/18
Al Maalomah, “Asaib: Discussions continue with Abadi but did not reach level any decision,” 1/11/18
- “Leading story: Al Fatah Alliance includes 20 faction of the popular crowd,” 1/11/18
- “Who are the blocs that joined the victory alliance headed by Abadi?” 1/13/18
- “Wisdom announces its entry into the elections alone,” 1/11/18
Al Mada, “Abadi close to the crowd coalition,” 1/13/18
- “Shiite forces are running in the elections with 5 lists and the National Alliance is a thing of the past,” 12/29/17
Al-Qarawee, Harith Hasan, “Iraq’s Dawa Party and Electioneering: Division and Survival,” Atlantic Council, 1/9/18
Rudaw, “PM Abadi, VP Maliki to run for Iraqi elections on different lists,” 1/13/18