FACTBOX - Political alliances ahead of Iraq's March election

Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:46pm IST

Workers attach a poster for a Shi'ite politician candidate Abdul-Hadi al-Hasani of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition to a pole for the start of Friday's election campaign in Basra, 420 km (260 miles) southeast of Baghdad February 12, 2010.   REUTERS/Atef Hassan

Workers attach a poster for a Shi'ite politician candidate Abdul-Hadi al-Hasani of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition to a pole for the start of Friday's election campaign in Basra, 420 km (260 miles) southeast of Baghdad February 12, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Atef Hassan

Related Topics

REUTERS - Iraq's political field is crowded with alliances seeking to woo voters ahead of a national election. Below is a list of major coalitions that will take part in the March 7 parliamentary poll:


* Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has created a broad-based alliance of his Dawa party and other groups including some Sunni tribal leaders, Shi'ite Kurds, Christians and independents.

Dawa's roots are Shi'ite Islamist, but the coalition plans to run on a non-sectarian platform. Its hopes of capitalising on improving security have been undermined by a series of recent high-profile attacks on government targets in Baghdad.

The State of Law coalition was the big winner in Jan. 2009 provincial elections when it rode to victory with a message of security, services and a strong central state.


* The INA, a mainly Shi'ite alliance, brings together the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (ISCI), the country's biggest Shi'ite party, followers of anti-American Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, Basra-based Fadhila, Ahmed Chalabi, a Washington favourite before the 2003 invasion, and a few Sunni leaders. It is the chief rival to Maliki's coalition for the Shi'ite vote.

ISCI and the Sadrists are hoping to recapture some of the Shi'ite vote they lost to Maliki last year. There is also speculation that the INA could form a post-election coalition with Maliki's group if neither wins enough seats to form a government on its own -- a very likely outcome.


* The Kurdish coalition is dominated by the two parties that control Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

The Kurdish Democratic Party led by the region's president, Masoud Barzani, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan headed by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani both stress Kurdish nationalism and enjoy close ties with the West.

Their grip on the Kurdish region was weakened, though, by the reform-minded Change bloc, which fared well in Kurdish parliamentary polls last year and will run on its own in March.

The Kurds have played king-maker in Iraq since the 2003 invasion and will likely retain enough clout after the March 7 vote to be part of a ruling alliance with another faction.


* Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a Sunni Arab, former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, a secular Shi'ite, and senior Sunni politician Saleh al-Mutlaq teamed up to run on a nationalist platform.

But the alliance's plans have been complicated by moves by an independent panel to bar Mutlaq and other Iraqiya candidates from the election over alleged ties to Saddam Hussein's banned Baath party.

Allawi's list is expected to fare quite well in the election and the candidate ban is viewed by some politicians, in particular Sunnis, as an attempt by the Shi'ite-led establishment to neuter a threat.


* Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani, a Shi'ite, Ahmed Abu Risha, a Sunni tribal leader from western Anbar province, and Ahmed Abdul Ghafour al-Samarai of the Sunni Endowment have formed this cross-confessional, secular group.

Like Iraqiya, the Iraq Unity list was disproportionately affected by the ban on candidates with alleged Baathist links.


* Tribal leaders will play an important role in the election and are being courted by major parties. Some of Iraq's Sunni tribal leaders sprang to prominence when U.S. forces began backing local sheikhs against al Qaeda in 2006.

While the tribal figures are looking to branch out into mainstream politics, they have not formed a united front and have mainly joined forces with existing blocs.


* There have been numerous defections from the Iraqi Accordance Front, once the country's main Sunni alliance, since the 2005 national elections. It now consists of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) and some tribal leaders.

The group, which includes the speaker of parliament Ayad al-Samarai, seems unlikely to garner the same number of seats as it did in 2005 due to divisions within the Sunni electorate.


* Iraq's smaller minorities, including Turkmen, Christians, Yazidis, Sabeans, Shabak and others, are likely to ally with bigger electoral lists in areas where they are not dominant.

(Reporting by Suadad al-Salhy and Baghdad newsroom; Editing by Samia Nakhoul)


After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Barack Obama in India

Reuters Showcase

Climate Change

Climate Change

U.S.-China climate deal does not put pressure on India, says Modi  Full Article 

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh charges opposition chief with instigating attack on bus  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Rebels press Ukraine offensive, Obama promises steps against Russian-backed "aggression"  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Sweet revenge for Murray as old guard hold firm   Full Article 

Box Office

Box Office

Eastwood's "American Sniper" continues as U.S. box office juggernaut   Full Article 

Boko Haram Fight

Boko Haram Fight

Nigeria repels suspected Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri city  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

Dolly ki Doli is a breezy watch, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Full Article | Related Story 

Akshay Kumar's Latest

Akshay Kumar's Latest

"Baby" is a smartly written, well-acted film  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage