Iraq’s next elections are set for December and there are already reports of the ruling parties attempting to fix the results to ensure their victory.
On September 21 Al Aalem reported that the Democratic Forces for Change which came out of the protest movement claimed two lists were putting their people into the Election Commission to tamper with the results. The Commission has always been under political influence so this is nothing new. As early as May a story in Al Mada noted that the ruling parties were going to start taking over the Commission to help their chances in the balloting.
There are other abuses going on as well. In August a parliamentarian told Al Rafidain that the parties were using money they stole from the state to fund their campaigns. A member of the Election Commission said that lists will also exploit the state’s resources like government buildings, vehicles, etc. to run for office. Both of these are common tactics and have never been stopped because the elite do not want any rules enforced that would hinder them.
Speaking of rules the parliament changed the voting system back to the old one which makes each province a single voting district. This favors the big parties because they have the resources to run across each governorate versus newer and smaller parties that don’t. During the last election each province was broken up into several districts which helped some protest groups join parliament. They are expected to be the biggest losers in future elections.
Since 2005 Iraq’s elections have always been marred by corruption. This year will be no different as these stories point out. It doesn’t guarantee victory as organizing and getting out the vote is also important but cheating is definitely part of the formula.
Al Aalem, “Early doubts about the integrity of the elections … party cadres to direct them,” 9/21/23
- “The law of parties is suspended .. There is no solution to harness the state’s resources in the elections,” 7/3/23
Al Mada, “The traditional leaders separate and lead small parties to collect votes in the provinces,” 5/28/23
Al Rafidain, “Parliamentary Integrity Committee: The Influential Forces Exploit The State’s Resources And Funds,” 8/17/23
Tollast, Robert, “Iraq set December 18 date for pivotal provincial elections," The National, 6/20/23