Iraqi governorate elections, 2009

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Iraqi governorate elections, 2009

← 2005 31 January 2009 2013 →

440 seats comprising 14 of the 18 governorates of Iraq

  First party Second party Third party
  Nouri al-Maliki Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
Leader Nouri al-Maliki Abdul Aziz al-Hakim Muqtada al-Sadr
Party State of Law Coalition Al-Mehraab Martyr List Independent Free Movement
Last election 42 195
Seats won 126 52 43
Seat change Increase84 Decrease143 Decrease17
Popular vote 1,362,594 482,800 434,849
Percentage 19.1% 6.8% 6.1%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Tariq Al-Hashimi Ayad Allawi Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Leader Tariq Al-Hashimi Ayad Allawi Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Party Tawafuq Iraqi National List National Reform Trend
Last election 45 18
Seats won 32 26 23
Seat change Decrease13 Increase8 Increase23
Popular vote 449,575 404,201 273,130
Percentage 6.3% 5.7% 3.8%

2009 Iraqi elections.svg
Colours show the largest list per governorate
Provinces holding election are Green; Kirkuk (blue) and Iraqi Kurdistan (red) postponed their elections for later on the year.
Coat of arms of Iraq (2008).svg
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Governorate or provincial elections were held in Iraq on 31 January 2009, to replace the local councils in fourteen of the eighteen governorates of Iraq that were elected in the Iraqi governorate elections of 2005.[1][2] 14,431 candidates - including 3,912 women - contested 440 seats. The candidates came from over 400 parties - 75% of which were newly formed.[3]

Legal Framework[edit]

In February 2008, the Iraqi Parliament passed a Provincial Powers Act by a majority of one, with many members of parliament not present at the proceedings. It included giving the Prime Minister the power to dismiss a governor of a province, a measure that would have left considerable power in the hands of the Shi'a dominated central government in Baghdad. The Act required a Provincial Elections Law to be passed within the next 90 days and for elections to be held no later than the beginning of October 2008.

The Presidency Council initially referred the law back, saying it did not comply with the constitutional rights of governorates. It was reported that vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, whose Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council party is strong in many southern Iraqi governorate councils, particularly objected.[4][5] However, the Council reversed its position following protests from the Sadrist Movement, saying they would instead seek changes to the law before it came into force.[6]

In July 2008 the Iraqi Election Commission proposed postponing the elections until December because delays in passing the election law had left too little time to prepare.[7]

The Provincial Elections bill was eventually approved by the Council of Representatives on 22 July 2008 despite a walkout by members of the Kurdistani Alliance over a clause making Kirkuk Governorate council a power-sharing arrangement.[8] The next day the Presidency Council of Iraq, consisting of President Jalal Talabani, who is Kurdish, Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shi'ite Arab, and Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni Arab, unanimously agreed to reject the bill because of the Kirkuk clause, and send it back to the Council of Representatives to reconsider.[9][10]

The second draft was ratified by the Presidency Council on 7 October 2008, who stated that a minority clause may be added later.[11][12] A minority clause was added on 3 November.[13]

Kirkuk Governorate[edit]

The original draft proposed delaying the election in Kirkuk Governorate until after the referendum to decide its precise status has been held. However, a group of Turkmen and Arab MPs proposed a power-sharing clause, establishing a provincial council consisting of ten Kurds, ten Arabs, ten Turkmens and two Assyrians. This clause was included in the draft election bill put to the Iraqi Council of Representatives in July 2008, and led to the Kurdish parties walking out in protest, complaining "If you already pick the seats before the election, why vote?"[14] The law was nonetheless approved on 22 July 2008.[8] However, President Jalal Talabani, who is Kurdish, and Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shi'ite Arab, have agreed they would reject the bill, and hence it would be sent back to the Council of Representatives to reconsider.[9]

Parliamentary summer recess started on 30 July 2008, but a special session was called for 3 August 2008 to find a solution to the Kirkuk issue.[15] At that meeting, no solution was reached; at another meeting on 4 August 2008, lawmakers postponed the session to 5 August 2008,[16][17] and on that date to 6 August 2008.[18] It was then postponed to 9 September 2008, with a committee working on a compromise solution until then.[19] At that session, no resolution was reached, and negotiations continued on 10 September 2008 in the form of a special six-member panel formed for this occasion.[20][21] The law was finally passed on 24 September 2008 and the election is expected to be held by 31 January 2009;[22] the compromise was that Kirkuk would be dealt with separately, and elections in Kirkuk and the three Kurdish autonomous provinces will be held at a later time.[23] A special panel was to work on a solution on Kirkuk and report back by 31 March 2009.[24]

The United Nations Special Representative for Iraq, Staffan de Mistura proposed holding elections in all governorates except Kirkuk, and deferring the Kirkuk elections for six months in order to find an acceptable compromise.[25] A draft bill based on this proposal was debated on 6 August and accepted by the Kurdistani Alliance but opposed by the Iraqi Turkmen Front, Iraqi Accord Front and Sadrist Movement who objected to the draft law's reference to the Kirkuk status referendum and insisted on delaying the entire elections until a solution was found.[19][26]


Under Article 50 of the draft Elections law, religious minorities such as Christians and Yazidis would be reserved a number of seats in the provincial assemblies. This clause was removed in the final draft, with legislators citing a lack of census data for determining the appropriate number of seats. Five thousand Christians demonstrated in Mosul against this change, saying it was a "marginalisation of their rights" and the head of the Assyrian Church of the East wrote to the Presidency Council asking them to veto the law.[27][28]

Prime Minister al-Maliki said he was concerned and called on parliament and the Iraqi High Electoral Commission to "remove all the concerns, injustice and the sense of exclusion felt by some segments of Iraqi society".[29] Kurdish MP Mahmoud Othman called on the Presidency Council of Iraq to use its review process to force an amendment to include a minority quota, saying "The rule of the majority means there should be protection of the minorities"[30] A Sadrist leader also said Christians should be allowed to "contribute to the building of the Iraqi state" and the removal of this clause "threatened the unity of Iraq"[31] The UN Special Envoy also criticised the removal of the minorities clause.[32]

A minority clause was added on 3 November 2008, although it only provided for six special seats (three for Christians, one each for Yazidi, Mandean and Shabak) instead of twelve as recommended by the UN.[13] The Christians got a seat each in Baghdad, Nineveh, and Basra, the Yazidi and Shabak in Nineveh, and the Mandeans in Baghdad.[33]

Female quota[edit]

Original drafts of the Election law included a guarantee that the elected councils would contain at least 25% women. However, the law passed stated instead that there would be "a woman at the end of every three winners". The Electoral Commission has interpreted this to mean that where a list wins more than two seats in a particular governorate, the third seat will be awarded to a woman on the party's list. Given the large number of parties contesting the election, many of whom are expected to win one or two seats, female MPs raised concerns that the change in language has weakened this provision.[34]

Electoral system[edit]

The previous Governorate and national elections in Iraq have been held under a "Closed list" electoral system, whereby voters select a party or coalition and the party or coalition selects the individual parliamentarian.

The new election will be held under an "Open list" system, whereby voters may select either a party or an individual candidate; the candidates elected from a list will be those that get the most individual votes from among that list.

The system also promotes the representation of women, for if the top two people elected from a list are men, the subsequent person elected will be the woman with the most votes.[35]


In March, the government of Nouri al-Maliki moved against militias allied to the Sadrist Movement in Basrah Governorate. Sadrists accused Maliki of trying to weaken them ahead of the polls, but Maliki claimed he was just targeting "criminal gangs".

Following this, Maliki said he would disqualify any parties from the election who refused to disband their militia. In April the cabinet agreed on a draft elections law, which included a clause banning parties with militias.[36] The Sadr Movement however, still ran in the elections.


The security situation in this election was much better than in previous elections. Security was provided by the Iraqi security forces with the Multinational force in Iraq playing no role for the first time.[37] Candidates felt safe enough to canvass for votes, while the 2005 elections saw little public campaigning.[3] Nonetheless, eight candidates were killed during the campaign, borders were closed for voting and curfews and vehicle bans were put in place.[38] However, this compared favourably to the 2005 elections when over 200 candidates were killed.[37]

Early voting took place on Wednesday 28 January for 614,000 soldiers, police, prisoners, patients and internally displaced people.[38]

Sunni Arab areas[edit]

The current Governorate councils were elected in the Iraqi Governorate elections of 2005, which were boycotted by Sunni Arabs, resulting in several Sunni Arab-majority provinces such as Ninawa Governorate and Salahuddin Governorate being run either ethnic Kurdish parties, or multi-ethnic parties of Shia faith. As Sunni Arab parties have since decided to participate in elections, these elections are expected to give them more representation.

The elections are also expected to develop electoral competition within the Sunni Arab population between the pro-government Iraqi Accord Front and the new political groups formed out of the anti-al-Qaeda Awakening movement militias. A leading member of the Awakening movement in Baghdad, Abu Azzam al-Tamimi, has formed the Iraqi Dignity Front to contest the elections. The Awakening movement in Anbar has formed the National Front for the Salvation of Iraq. These parties are expected to sweep the Sunni Arab vote in Anbar, Salahuddin, Diyala, and Baghdad.[39]

In Ninawa, the Sunni Arab - majority al-Hadba party - which is also backed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki[40]- complained of being targeted by Kurdish security forces. A candidate for the Sunni Arab "Iraq for Us" coalition in Ninawa was killed by a gunman who walked into a café and shot him.[41]

Shiite Arab areas[edit]

One senior government official said the elections would "redraw the political map of Iraq" while Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi described them as a "major rehearsal for the parliamentary elections" due in 2009-10. An expert from the International Crisis Group predicted a "big shift", with the existing parties established by exiles losing ground to more recently formed parties of people who stayed in Iraq during the rule of Saddam Hussein.[42]

There is also expected to be significant electoral competition between two main Shiite Islamist parties in the government - the Islamic Dawa Party of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council of Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi. Following the Battle of Basra (2008), the Prime Minister created "support councils" to help with security in the southern provinces and Maliki was accused of using these support councils to build a political base. The Presidency Council of Iraq publicly criticised the Prime Minister in November 2008, saying these support councils were illegal, should be suspended and the money used to support the regular Army and Police.[43]

Competition is also expected between the government Islamist parties and the opposition Sadrist Movement, with some commentators saying Sadrists were expected to win a majority of seats in southern Iraq and parts of Baghdad.[44][45] The Sadrist Movement supported the Blamelessness and Reconstruction (376) list and the Independent Trend of the Noble Ones (284)[46]

Some commentators predicted there would be a backlash against the incumbent religious parties in favour of more secular parties.[47]

Shortly before the election, an initiative was started in Basra Province to convert the province into a Region. The initiative failed to reach 10% of eligible voters in the specified period, meaning it fell.[48]


Election map showing the largest list per governorate

There were 15 million eligible voters, but hundreds of thousands of voters were omitted from the ballot lists. Mithal al-Alusi, an Arab nationalist MP, complained that there were "many mistakes" by the Commission and Iranian diplomats had been allowed entry to polling stations.[49]

There were international observers in every one of the 712 constituencies - the first election since the invasion of Iraq to be fully observed[37]

Unlike the 2005 election, there was no boycott by any significant political movement;[37] however, turnout was down on the previous election at slightly over 51%. ISCI blamed the election day vehicle ban, which meant voters often had to walk long distances to the polling centres.[50]

Official results were not expected until days after the election.[51] Early indications were that the Islamic Dawa Party turned as largest party in Shi'a south.[52] This was confirmed in preliminary results released on 10 February 2009 as of 5 February.[53][54]

Total Seats[edit]

Party Total Votes Percentage Total seats Party Leader
State of Law Coalition 1,362,594 19.1% 126 Nouri al-Maliki
al-Mehraab Martyr List 482,800 6.8% 52 Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
Independent Free Movement 434,849 6.1% 43 Muqtada al-Sadr
Iraqi Accord Front 449,575 6.3% 32 Tariq al-Hashemi
Iraqi National List 404,201 5.7% 26 Ayad Allawi
National Reform Trend 273,130 3.8% 23 Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Brotherhood List 353,328 5.0% 20 Barzani, Talabani
National Iraqi Project Gathering 328,250 4.6% 19 Saleh al-Mutlaq
Al-Hadbaa National List 435,595 6.1% 19 Atheel al-Nujaifi
Awakening Council 56,262 0.8% 8 Abu Risha
Islamic Virtue Party 140,648 2.0% 6 Abdul al-Huseini
Other Parties 2,422,424 33.7% 66 -
Total 7,143,656 100% 440 -

Provincial Turnout

Governorate Votes Cast Seats
Anbar 317,074 29
Babil 487,858 30
Baghdad 1,694,930 57
Basra 646,109 35
Dhi Qar 453,806 31
Diyala 430,407 29
Karbala 291,479 27
Maysan 234,398 27
Muthanna 207,752 26
Najaf 338,540 28
Ninawa 995,169 37
Qadisiyyah 332,176 28
Salah ad-Din 403,764 28
Wassit 310,194 28
Total: 7,143,656 440

al-Anbar Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
Iraq Awakening and Independents National Alliance (Sahwa) 56,262 17.1% 8 Abu Risha
National Iraqi Project Gathering 53,487 17.6% 6 Saleh al-Mutlaq
Tribes and Educated Coalition for Development 51,733 15.9% 6 Tariq al-Hashemi
National Movement for Development and Reform (al-Hal) 23,835 7.8% 3 Jamal al-Karbuli
Iraqi National List 21,551 6.6% 2 Ayad Allawi
Coalition for Iraqi National Unity 14,439 4.6% 2 Mohammed al-Kasanzani
Tribes of Iraq Coalition 13,798 4.5% 2 Hamid al-Hais
Other parties - 25.9% 0
Total 317,074 100% 29

Babil Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
State of Law Coalition 60,914 12.5% 8 Nouri al-Maliki
al-Mehraab Martyr List 40,365 8.2% 5 Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
Independent Free Movement 30,119 6.2% 3 Muqtada al-Sadr
National Reform Trend 21,055 4.4% 3 Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Iraqi Commission for Independent Civil Society Organizations 19,875 4.1% 3 Saleh al-Mutlaq
Independent Justice Association 17,683 3.7% 3
Iraqi National List 17,017 3.4% 3 Ayad Allawi
Independent Ansar Bloc 16,493 3.4% 2
Other parties - 54.1% 0
Total 487,858 100% 30

Baghdad Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
State of Law Coalition 641,925 38.0% 28 Nouri al-Maliki
National Accordance Front (Tawafuq) 153,219 9.0% 7 Tariq al-Hashimi
Independent Free Movement 151,093 9.0% 5 Muqtada al-Sadr
Iraqi National List 148,133 8.6% 5 Ayad Allawi
National Iraqi Project Gathering 113,787 6.9% 4 Saleh al-Mutlaq
al-Mehraab Martyr List (ISCI) 91,759 5.4% 3 Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
National Reform Trend 71,663 4.3% 3 Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Other parties - 18.8% 0
Minority Seats:
Christian Seat: Ishtar Patriotic List 4,334 1 Sarkis Aghajan
Sebean-Mandean Seat: Independent 241 1 Ali Hussein al-Saberi
Total 1,694,930 100% 57

source: IHEC

Basra Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
State of Law Coalition 239,007 37.0% 20 Nouri al-Maliki
al-Mehraab Martyr List (ISCI) 74,879 11.6% 5 Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
Gathering of Justice and Unity 34,862 5.5% 2 al-Faiz
Independent Free Movement (Sadrist) 32,020 5.0% 2 Muqtada al-Sadr
Iraqi Islamic Party 24,813 3.8% 2 Tariq al-Hashimi
Iraqi National List 21,091 3.2% 2 Ayad Allawi
Islamic Virtue Party (Fadhila) 20,932 3.2% 1 Abdul al-Hasini
Other parties - 30.7% 0
Christian Seat: Chaldean Democratic Union Party 227 - 1 Ablahad Afraim Sawa
Total 646,109 100% 35

Dhi Qar Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
State of Law Coalition 107,410 23.1% 13 Nouri al-Maliki
Independent Free Movement 61,929 14.1% 7 Muqtada al-Sadr
al-Mehraab Martyr List (ISCI) 51,463 11.1% 5 Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
National Reform Trend 34,255 7.6% 4 Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Islamic Virtue Party (Fadhila) 27,138 6.1% 2 Abdul al-Hasini
Other parties - 48% 0
Total 453,806 100% 31

Diyala Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
United Accord and Reform Front in Diyala (Tawafuq) 91,135 21.1% 9 Tariq al-Hashemi
National Iraqi Project Gathering 66,309 17.0% 6 Saleh al-Mutlaq
Kurdistan Alliance 62,219 15.0% 6 Massoud Barzani, Jalal Talebani
Iraqi National List 42,650 9.5% 3 Ayad Allawi
State of Law Coalition 27,408 6.0% 2 Nouri al-Maliki
National Diyala Alliance 25,068 5.3% 2 Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
National Reform Trend 20,140 4.3% 1 Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Other parties - 21.6% 0
Total 430,407 100% 29

Karbala Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
Youssef Mohammed al-Haboubi 37,846 13.3% 1 Independent
Hope of Al-Refedein 26,967 8.8% 9 (Sadrist Affiliated)
State of Law Coalition 25,649 8.5% 9 Nouri al-Maliki
al-Mehrab Martyr List (ISCI) 19,346 6.8% 4 Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
Independent Free Movement 19,215 6.4% 4 Muqtada al-Sadr
Other parties 56.2% 0
Total 291,479 100% 27

Note: While Youssef al-Haboubi got the most votes, he stood as independent candidate, thus only winning one seat for himself.

Maysan Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
State of Law Coalition 42,214 17.7% 8 Nouri al-Maliki
al-Mehraab Martyr List (ISCI) 35,093 15.2% 8 Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
Independent Free Movement 35,075 14.6% 7 Muqtada al-Sadr
National Reform Trend 20,144 8.7% 4 Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Other parties 43.8% 0
Total 234,398 100% 27

Muthanna Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
State of Law Coalition 22,627 10.9% 5 Nouri al-Maliki
al-Mehraab Martyr List (ISCI) 19,448 9.3% 5 Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
Al-Jumhoor List 14,520 7.1% 3
National Reform Trend 12,878 6.3% 3 Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Independent Free Movement 11,436 - 2 Muqtada al-Sadr
Gathering for Muthanna 10,867 5.0% 2
Independent National List 9,854 4.9% 2
Independent Iraqi Skills Gathering 8,941 4.4% 2
Middle Euphrates Gathering 8,322 3.9% 2
Other parties 42.7% 0
Total 207,752 100% 26

Najaf Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
State of Law Coalition 54,907 16.2% 7 Nouri al-Maliki
al-Mehraab Martyr List (ISCI) 50,146 14.8% 7 Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
Independent Free Movement 40,186 12.2% 6 Muqtada al-Sadr
Loyalty for Najaf 30,219 8.3% 4 Adnan al-Zurufi
National Reform Trend 23,377 7.0% 2 Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Independent Najaf Union 12,766 3.7% 2
Other parties 37.8% 0
Total 338,540 100% 28

Ninawa Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
Al-Hadbaa National List 435,595 48.4% 19 Atheel al-Nujaifi
Brotherhood Ninawa 273,458 25.5% 12 Massoud Barzani, Jalal Talebani
Iraqi Islamic Party 60,191 6.7% 3 Tariq al-Hashemi
Other parties 19.4% 0
Minority Seats
Christian Seat: Ishtar Patriotic List 13,760 1 Sarkis Aghajan
Shabaki Seat: Qussai Abbas Mohammed 12,949 1 Independent
Yezidi Seat: Yazidi Movement for Reform and Progress 6,174 1
Total 995,169 100% 37

al-Qadisiyyah Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
State of Law Coalition 78,276 23.1% 11 Nouri al-Maliki
al-Mehrab Martyr List (ISCI) 38,972 11.7% 4 Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
Iraqi National List 27,687 8.2% 3 Ayad Allawi
National Reform Trend 26,738 8.0% 3 Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Independent Free Movement 21,742 6.7% 2 Muqtada al Sadr
Islamic Loyalty Party 14,054 4.3% 2 (Sadrist Affiliated)
Islamic Virtue Party 13,596 4.1% 2 Abdul al-Hasini
Other parties 33.9% 0
Total 332,176 100% 28

Salah ad-Din Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
Salahuddin Accordance Front (Tawafiq) 57,264 14.5% 5 Tariq al-Hashemi
Iraqi National List 56,853 13.9% 5 Ayad Allawi
National Iraqi Project Front (Groups) 35,482 8.7% 3
National Iraqi Project Gathering 35,131 8.5% 3 Saleh al-Mutlaq
Iraqi Scholars and Intellectuals Group 23,772 6.0% 2
Iraqi Turkoman Front 19,013 4.8% 2 Saadeddin Arkej
Liberation and Construction Front 18,743 4.5% 2
National Salah ad-Din List 18,079 4.6% 2
Fraternity and Peaceful Coexistence List 17,651 4.5% 2 Massoud Barzani, Jalal Talebani
State of Law Coalition 14,422 3.5% 2 Nouri al-Maliki
Other parties 21% 0
Total 403,764 100% 28

Wassit Governorate[edit]

Party Total votes Percentage Seats Party Leader
State of Law Coalition 47,835 15.3% 13 Nouri al-Maliki
al-Mehrab Martyr List (ISCI) 30,712 10.0% 6 Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
Independent Free Movement 18,261 6.0% 3 Muqtada al-Sadr
Iraqi National List 14,596 4.6% 3 Ayad Allawi
Iraqi Constitutional Party 12,235 3.9% 3 Jawad al-Bulani
Other parties 60.2% 0
Total 310,194 100% 28


After the elections, the National Reform Trend said it has formed an agreement with the State of Law Coalition to ally in all provinces where they had won seats.[55]

In al-Anbar, Qasim Al-Fahdawi, an independent from the Sahwa list was elected governor, he formed an administration with all parties in Anbar (most important being his own Sahwa list and al-Mutlaq's NIPG), except the Iraqi Islamic Party, which previously ruled the local government.[56]

In Diyala the winning Iraqi Accord Front joined into a coalition with the Kurdistan Alliance, together holding a 15-seat majority out of the governorates 29 seats, they were also backed by the National Diyala Alliance, an ISCI affiliated list which held 2 seats.[57] The Accord Front member Abdulnasir al-Muntasirbillah was elected as governor while Taleb Mohammed Hassan from the Kurdistan Alliance was made chairman of the provincial council.[58] In Salah ad Din, where Tawafuq also came out first they tied in number of seats with the Iraqi National List, which forged an alliance with State of Law and the National Iraqi Project Gathering,[59] they were however eventually forced to include Tawafuq into this alliance in order to get a majority. Tawafuq member Mutashar al-Aliwi became governor while an INL member became chairman.[60]

In Muthanna were State of Law and ISCI's al-Mehraab list each won 5 seats both parties created their own alliance forming blocs of 13 seats. State of Law formed a Coalition with the National Reform Trend (3 seats), Sadrists (2 seats) and the Middle Euphrates Gathering (2 seats) while ISCI created an alliance within the al-Jumhur List (3 seats), the Gathering for Muthanna (2 seats), and the Independent National List (2 seats). The Independent Iraqi Skills Gathering which had 2 seats was split between these two blocs. However Ibrahim Salman al-Miyali, an independent which ran as part of the State of Law Coalition left and joined ISCI's block because Maliki hadn't nominated him for any important position. This gave the ISCI block a 14-seat majority and led to his election as governor and ISCI member Abd al-Latif Hassan al-Hassani being elected as chairman.[61]

In Maysan and Wasit, the State of Law Coalition formed a coalition with ISCI. Though in most governorates State of Law tried to leave ISCI out of local governments in Maysan where they won an equal amounth of seats they decided to align with them electing Muhammad al-Sudani of the Dawa Party as governor and Hashim al-Shawki of the Iraqi Hezbollah (which was part of ISCI's List) as chairman. In Wassit, State of Law first tried to create an alliance with the Sadrists but after this broke down, they formed an alliance with ISCI. Sadrist governor Latif Hamid Turfa was re-elected as governor and ISCI's Mahmoud Abdulrida Talal was made chairman.[62]

In Basra, State of Law's clear cut majority allowed them to form an administration on their own, appointing Jabbar Amin, as chairman and Dr. Sheltagh Aboud Sherad as governor, both were members of the Da'wa party (although Jabbar Amin belongs to the Iraq Organisation branch).[62] However, despite their 20-seat majority in the 35-seat council, they reached out to other parties including all other parties which won seats in the Basra local council in a local unity government.[63]

In the remaining five Shi'a governorates, State of Law succeeded in creating coalitions without ISCI. In Babil State of Law created a broad coalition with the Sadrists, the National Reform Trend, the Iraqi National List, al-Mutlaq's bloc and local parties, ISCI forming a 7-seat opposition bloc with the 2 man Independent Ansar Bloc. To create this alliance however, State of Law gave Hasan al-Zarqani and Kadum Majid Tuman, two Sadrists, the positions of governor and chairman. In Dhi Qar State of Law aligned itself with the Sadrists and the National Reform Trend, creating a 24-seat majority in the 31-seat council, ISCI and Fadhila being left out. A Dawa member: Taleb al-Hassan was appointed governor and NRT member Qusai al-Ibadi became chairman. In Karbala, the only Shi'a province were SOL did not come out first place, they aligned themselves with al-Haboubi an independent which won the most votes, the second place Hope of Al-Refedein and the Independent Free Movement, two Sadrist blocs which together took 13 seats, only ISCI's 4-seat bloc was left out of the local government. Amaleddin Majeed Hameed Kadhem of the Dawa party became governor while Mohammed Hamid al-Musawi, a Sadrist was elected chairman. In Najaf, SOL and ISCI tied with 7 seats each however SOL managed to create a 15-seat majority bloc with the NRT and two local parties, leaving the Sadrists and ISCI in the opposition. SOL member Fayad al-Shamari was appointed chairman and despite strong opposition, Adnan al-Zurfi from one of the local parties became the new governor, prompting Asaad Abu Gulal the former ISCI governor to start a legal battle against al-Zurfi. In al-Qadissiya SOL formed a bloc with the Iraqi National List, leaving ISCI, Fadhila and the Sadrists in the opposition. Da'awa members Salim Hussein and Jubeir al-Juburi were appointed governor and chairman.[62]

Fraud allegations[edit]

Allegations of election fraud came from both Sunni and Shi'a political parties. The most complaints came from Ayad Allawi's al-Iraqiya list which claimed election fraud had taken place, mostly in Baghdad, Salahaddin and al-Anbar, a spokesman of the group: Ali Nesaif claimed that "Some boxes were stolen from polling centers in Salahaddin as well as Diyala," while Kadhim Turki another Allawi ally said that they were not satisfied with the final results—particularly in Baghdad and Basra." They accused the counties powerful parties of vote rigging.[64]

The Sadr Movement also complained about the election results, Amir Tahar al-Kinani a Sadrist spokesman released the following statement: "We have been mistreated in this election. IHEC was not fair -- it was biased in favor of other lists, in the final results, we dropped to third position, while SIIC took second place. How can that happen? Our bloc and SIIC won an approximately equal number of votes in Maysan -- yet we only got seven seats, while they got eight." Kinani also said their votes in Baghdad suspiciously dropped after the final results came in and he accused the Independent High Electoral Commission of making late changes to the law which benefited Maliki.[64] He also claimed that: "There are huge differences between results announced by the electoral commission and the figures we have from our observers in some provinces."[65]

The Iraq Awakening Coalition alleged election fraud in al-Anbar province claiming they had hundreds of documents to prove the fraud. Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi called for a vote recount in al-Anbar.[66]

Meanwhile, radical Arab Nationalist and Sunni MP Mithal al-Alusi claimed that hundreds of thousands of voters had been denied the right to vote. This was confirmed by Ahmad Challabi who claimed it was not intentional but "a shortcoming in the electoral commission's preparations". Al-Alusi however also alleged Iranian diplomats were allowed into Iraqi polling stations and accused them of interfering in the polls.[67]

Both the al-Iraqiya list and the Sadr Movement contested the results in court while the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council contested the results in Baghdad while the Awakening Movements contested the results in al-Anbar. In total election commity officials received 1,000 complaints of irregularities, including 20 serious allegations of fraud and that serious violations had been reported in Anbar, Diyala, Mosul, Muthana and in Baghdad. He however claimed that most lists provided no proof for their fraud allegations. Some voters however claimed to have witnessed fraud at the polling stations.[64]


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