Thursday, January 20, 2005

Who to Vote for : Part 1

There are articles floating around the web discussing how little knowledge there is among Iraqis on parties and their platforms.

For example, consider this article by Der Speigel,

Link



Problem is, the journalist does little to enlighten the reader as to how an Iraqi can shuffle among the 66 parties (or, more accurately, coalitions of parties) to choose the right candidate.

As for myself, I can only comment on a handful of parties that I know about:

United Iraqi Alliance, or United Iraqi Coalition. #169. Website http://www.vote169.com
#169

This is a coalition of Shi'ite parties, mainly SCIRI (Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq, headed by Abdel-Aziz Al-Hakim), the Da'wa party (headed by Ibrahim Ja'fari) and the Iraqi National Congress, headed by Ahmed Chalabi. There are 17 members / parties listed publicly, the rest are secret

Despite SCIRI's "revolutionary" title, Al-Hakim has been talking moderation for at least the past year, and distancing themselves from the form of theocratic government that Iran has.

Part of the coalition is Ahmed Chalabi's INC. Not many people seem to trust Chalabi, who has been guilty of embezzling the Petra bank in Jordan, has been in the pocket of the CIA for years, and has recently fallen out of favor with the pentagon for supposedly sharing sensitive information with the Iranians. Historian Juan Cole calls him "a world-class liar"

I shouldn't dwell too much on the INC, which would undoubtedly overshadow the other parties which have grown out of grass-roots movememnts and have been around for decades. The Da'wa party, for example, lost many of its leaders under Saddam's rule.

The Iraqi List, or Iraqiya (al-ga'imat Al-Iraqiya). #285

This is Iyad Allawi's coalition, which includes his Iraqi National Accord. There are also tribal chiefs listed, Moqtada al-Sadr's uncle (can someone explain this to me?) and some technocrats.

This party should do well, if only that they are the incumbents, and whoever's worked for the Iraqi goverment in the past months or benefited from them would probably vote for them. Also, it is easier for them to campaign and get their message across, since they would use the same infrastructure as when they call press conferences. In addition, the coalition seems like it has enough of a mix to appeal to a wide margin

Kurdistani Alliance list #130

Here, the two rival lions of the Kurdish north, Talabani and Barzani, hace united along with a list of lesser known Kurdish parties / movements, to create this coalition.

They will easily win a large majority of voters from the North. They have been running a semi-autonomous state up there since the beginning of the sanctions, and have run that part of the country efficiently.

UPDATE: This is their website, Helbijardin

Link

Note: I don't speak Kurdish, and can't verify this site personally. A user by the name of Manhattan from Aliraqi.org sent this to me (Thanks Manhattan!)

Iraqi Islamic Party. #351

This WAS the Islamic Sunni party running for elections, and had pulled out in late December. Adnan Pachachi, a known elder politician, has joined other coalitions, supposedly. I don't know if it still falls under that name.

Iraqis, Iraqiyoon. #255

The interim president, ghazi Ajeel Al-Yawar, heads the list. There are also other government ministers on this list, as well as tribal leaders.

Peoples Union, #290

I think this is the party listed as "Union Party" or "hizb al-wahda" on the Contestants list. If so, this is the alliance of the Communist Party and Hikmet Dawood Hakim.

The communist party is the Arab world's oldest political party (established in 1935!), and probably the most oppressed in Iraq, given its long history and rivalry with whoever was in power at the time.

I've met a number of Iraqi communists in Canada, the U.S. and Iraq. Given their organizational skills and history, they should be able to win a few seats. Besides which, the communist manifesto always sound great in theory. :-)

Royal Constitutionality Al Shareef Ali Bin Al-Hussein (al-malakiya al-destoriya ) #349

I should mention the Monarchy movement simply because they were in power way back when, and may have some support from Iraq's 60+ demographic

Al Rafideen National List, #204

Important party, especiallly for expats since this is one of the Christian lists. A coalition between the Chaldeans and Assyrians.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

>I shouldn't dwell too much on the INC, which would undoubtedly overshadow the other parties which have grown out of grass-roots movememnts and have been around for decades. The Da'wa party, for example, lost many of its leaders under Saddam's rule.

Yeah sure. Like the INC didn't loose any of its cadre during the struggle against Saddam ???? Or is it just the way you like it to appear?

8:29 PM  
Blogger mewmewmew said...

>I shouldn't dwell too much on the INC, which would undoubtedly overshadow the other parties which have grown out of grass-roots movememnts and have been around for decades. The Da'wa party, for example, lost many of its leaders under Saddam's rule.



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