Most of the parties included within the Coordination Framework did badly in the last election due to a new voting system which broke up Iraq’s provinces into multiple voting districts. That led them to introduce a bill to revert back to the old way when each governorate was a single district. This is facing opposition from Moqtada al-Sadr and the remnants of the protest movement.
In the middle of February parliament discussed a bill introduced by the Coordination Framework that would make each of Iraq’s provinces a single voting district again. That’s because in the last election in 2021 when the process was changed most of the Framework was not prepared. For instance, it ran multiple candidates in the same district. The Fatah list a major component of the Framework lost 902,000 votes compared to 2018. Part of the list therefore wants to return to the old formula which it thinks will give it a better chance. Nouri al-Maliki who is a leader within the Framework did fine in 2021 but it appears the rest of the list does not want to adapt.
The Sadrists and the protest movement are against any change. On Monday February 27 hundreds showed up in Baghdad to voice their opposition to going back to the old electoral system. Moqtada al-Sadr’s list won the most seats in parliament in 2021 so it does not want any changes either. It had a sophisticated system to turn out its followers and came out victorious as a result.
The Framework has two things going for it. First, Sadr withdrew all his parliamentarians and second demonstrations are rare after being smashed by the government. That will give the Framework the chance to push through its bill but it’s weary that the streets could come alive again creating a crisis for Prime Minister Mohammed Sudani. It has to decide whether pushing through the bill is worth the possible consequences.
Al Aalem, “The Sadrist Current and the Coordination Framework … Confrontations return, and the latter clings to dialogue,” 2/26/23
Al Mada, “The Framework will not risk amending the election law without al-Sadr’s approval,” 2/26/23
- “Shiite forces lost 2.5 million votes and 62 seats in the 2018 elections,” 11/16/21
Mansour, Renad, Stewart-Jolley, Dr Victoria, “Explaining Iraq’s election results,” Chatham House, 10/22/21
NRT, “Hundreds In Baghdad Protest Changes To Electoral Districting,” 2/27/23