ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – As the deadline to register coalitions for the upcoming Iraqi elections approached, Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish political parties began forming new partnerships.
Riyadh al-Badran, Head of the Electoral Department at the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), revealed that “Jan. 11 is the last day for the registration of electoral coalitions for the upcoming parliamentary and provincial council elections.”
On Thursday, Nouri al-Maliki, Head of the Islamic Dawa Party, registered his “State of Law” coalition in the IHEC to participate in the upcoming elections.
Meanwhile, Maliki’s rival, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also Dawa’s head of the political bureau, has neither registered his own coalition nor decided to join the State of Law despite the IHEC’s deadline.
The Dawa Party’s Shura Council urged both Abadi and Maliki to join one electoral list as election laws in Iraq do not allow the participation of two persons from one political party in separate electoral circles.
Razaq Muheibis, an Iraqi MP from the al-Badr Organization, told al-Hurra TV that “Abadi had finalized his electoral list for the elections,” adding it would “include the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, some political figures, and small Sunni parties.”
Additionally, the majority of Shia militia factions, part of the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi, formed the “al-Fath” coalition (meaning conquest in Arabic) despite local and international objections against the participation of militia groups in the elections.
Moreover, the al-Hikma Movement, led by Ammar al-Hakim, and the Sadr Front, led by Moqtada al-Sadr, registered lists with the IHEC separately.
Mohammed Khursheed, Head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) Kirkuk branch, told Kurdistan 24 that major Kurdish parties, including the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), had agreed to form a joint list to participate in the elections in disputed areas outside of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) administration.
Meanwhile, three other Kurdish parties, the Islamic Group (Komal), Gorran Movement, and Hawpaiymani decided against joining the other major Kurdish parties and instead, formed a coalition called “Nishtiman.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany