Iraq's Parliamentary Election


With parliamentary elections currently slated for January 16, 2010, Iraqi politicians and parties are maneuvering in advance of the vote. New alliances are being forged and unpopular incumbents are trying to hold onto their seats at all costs as the parties that have dominated the Iraqi government for the past five years are now being challenged by political newcomers. The last few months leading up to the vote have proved especially dynamic.
This backgrounder provides an assessment of the shifting political environment in Iraq as elections draw near. The first section examines Iraq’s new political realities and the negotiations between parties and candidates that have occurred in the last six months. Not only have parties sought to form alliances that will best position them ahead of the vote, but they have also sought to shape the process of the vote by seeking an elections law with the most advantageous terms. The second section of the paper examines the disputes that have emerged as the Council of Representatives (CoR) debated a new elections law. The paper concludes with a consideration of the likely effects of the election and post-election landscape....