Protester holding picture of Dr Rikabi the head of the Imtidad Movement (AFP)
The Imtidad party which came out of Iraq’s protest movement is attempting to form the first opposition alliance in parliament. Al Aalem said it had talks with New Generation and Ishraqat Kanoon along with independents.
Imtidad was founded by Dr. Alaa al-Rikabi a protest leader in Nasiriya. His party picked up nine seats, one in Diwaniya, one in Najaf, two in Babil and five in Rikabi’s home province of Dhi Qar. New Generation is the main opposition party in Kurdistan led by Shaswar Abdulwahid. It has seats in the Kurdish parliament but chose not to be part of the ruling coalition there. It won nine seats as well in the 2021 vote with one seat in Kirkuk, three in Irbil and five in Sulaymaniya. Ishraqat Kanoon is a new group with six seats, one in Baghdad, one in Diwaniya, and two each in Babil and Karbala. Additionally there are over 30 independents.
Having an opposition bloc would be a first in post-2003 Iraq. After previous elections all the winning parties got a seat at the table because their main goal was gaining government ministries and other positions to loot and exploit. Creating an actual opposition could be a step towards holding the government accountable, which would be huge.
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Habeeb, Mark, “Upstart Kurdish party has Iraq-wide ambitions,” The Arab Weekly, 11/11/18
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