Nabeel Jabbar al-Ali – researcher
Disputes have returned in Iraq over the content of the electoral law regulating the process of holding parliamentary elections earlier. The demands first came from the protest arenas at the end of 2019, expressing part of their demands to reject the context followed in the legislation of laws and regulations for elections since 2003, accusing the authorities and the parties forming the governments of complicity in the development of electoral laws and legislation; commensurate with their interests, designed to serve their electoral conditions, and not ensuring equal opportunities between the contenders. The 2019 protests in Baghdad and some provinces of Iraq and the accompanying events came to force the authority to abdicate, push for its resignation, form a new government that works to achieve political stability, calm the protest Street, and organize elections according to a fair electoral law, so a new electoral law was enacted in 2020; to replace the old laws governing elections, this law was distinguished from its predecessors at the level of approximately the size of the districts, rather than the dependence of the province One as a single constituency.
As a result of this law, after the elections were held and the results were announced, the Sadrist bloc won a relatively large number of seats (73 out of 327 seats), which is the highest number of seats obtained by the Sadrists in their political life, and these results even overcame the experience of 2018, in which the Sadrists participated in an electoral coalition that included a group of other political forces, in which they won only 55 seats for the entire alliance.
Among the other election results, there is a clear and remarkable rise of independents in the last parliamentary session with 43 seats, while earlier independents were unable to achieve more than (2-4) seats at most; for reasons that will be explained later. “The victory of the Sadrists by about (20) additional seats, the victory of the independents by(43) seats, and other emerging forces by (20) led to a clear decline in the results of other political forces, and the limitation of their representation and influence under the dome of the Iraqi parliament.
What is remarkable is that the big change in the election results does not fundamentally mean that the change resulted from a change in the preferences of voters, and a change in the compass of their political orientations, and returning to the language of numbers, you find great paradoxes, including the fact that the coordination framework (a Shiite political alliance that included the political parties rejecting the election results) received more than (2,500,000) million valid electoral votes, and it won about (83) seats only, while the Sadrist 885,000) valid electoral votes, and they won by (73) seats, this is with regard to the Shiite contenders, but the Sunni contenders, the difference is also clear, if we follow The ratio and proportionality between the number of votes and the number of seats, the Progress Party, which won about (637,000) votes, won (37) seats, while its counterpart, the determination alliance, could not manage to get more than (14) seats by attracting voters who numbered about (421,000) electoral votes!
These discrepancies come as a result of the recent electoral law, which the political forces are not used to fully understand, and the variation of electoral strategies, mechanisms for submitting candidates, their distribution, and their numbers are the most prominent reasons for putting this discrepancy in the election results, the owner of large votes has become limited seats, others won many seats through limited votes, while some political lists it enabled him to achieve (4) parliamentary seats only, while it may be permissible to assume that Other independent candidates with no more than (10-12) thousand votes enabled them to achieve (4) electoral seats thanks to the new law.
Iraq’s electoral systems and party preferences: (The controversy of the recent election law)
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Nabeel Jabbar al-Ali – researcher