Iraqi Parliament 2025: Predictions for Shiite Seats and Sudanese Influence

2024-02-15 23:18:38

Iraqi Parliament 2025: A new map for Shiite seats… and a significant share for Sudanese

Three sources said that the ruling coalition in Iraq has already begun drawing a map of the Shiite seats that will be produced by the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country, and a study obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat showed that Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani will lead a strong coalition with more than a third of the Shiite seats.

The next parliamentary elections are supposed to be held in 2025, but the authorities have not yet set a final date for holding them.

A source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the study prepared by the “coordination framework” was based on the results of the local elections, which were held in October 2023.

The source, who participated in the study and requested to conceal his identity, explained that the “coordination framework” adopted the number of seats obtained by each Shiite party in the provincial councils, and concluded that each of them is equivalent to a seat in the next parliament, with a slight difference equivalent to 4 percent.

The “coordination framework” is now dealing with a new indicator related to the Sudanese future and the possibilities of his rise as a difficult figure in the Shiite environment, according to a second source.

Al-Sudani is supposed to get about 60 seats in the next parliament, even though he did not participate in the local elections, according to the source.

The study acknowledged that the Prime Minister had achieved flexible alliances with Shiite forces during the past months. The source said, “The coordination framework did not comprehend his ability to formulate this new weight in light of the polarization and competition between the parties.”

“The Sudanese has penetrated the Shiite equation, and he can emerge as a more powerful player in the next parliament,” the source said.

The Iraqi Prime Minister during a dialogue session in Davos in early January (AFP)

New Sudanese Alliance

According to the study, the Sudanese coalition includes three governors who succeeded in the recent elections, along with rising Shiite and traditional forces.

The governors who are intended to study the “coordination framework” are: the governor of Basra, Asaad Al-Eidani, the governor of Karbala, Nassif Al-Khattabi, and the governor of Wasit, Muhammad Al-Mayahi, who won a total of 26 seats.

The “coordinating framework” tried to form alliances to prevent the winning governors from renewing their term as head of local governments in their cities, but their efforts ultimately failed.

According to the sources, “these governors have completely left the mantle of (the coordination framework).”

A third source said that Sudanese’s other allies constitute a mixture of political forces that emerged from the “Tishreen” protest movement. Rising local forces (that have never had parliamentary representation), and classic parties close to Iran, achieved remarkable results in the local elections, such as the “Supreme Islamic Council” and the “Virtue” Party.

Together, these forces won about 25 seats in the recent local elections.

The three sources said that Al-Sudani alone will win about 10 seats, and his broad coalition is expected to win about 60 seats, which constitutes more than a third of the Shiite seats that the “coordination framework” estimates at about 180 seats.

The “coordinating framework” forces during one of their meetings in the presence of Al-Sudani (the official news agency)

A new Shiite transformation

A source said, “The map drawn by the study showed the leaders of the (coordination framework) that they are facing a transformation at the level of the Shiite House, which may reach the point of disintegration of this alliance and the formation of a new equation.”

The study indicated that the “State of Law” coalition led by Nouri al-Maliki will obtain 25 seats, the coalition of Ammar al-Hakim (Al-Hikma Movement) and Haider al-Abadi (Al-Nasr Coalition) will obtain 21 seats, and the coalition of Qais Khazali (Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq) and Hadi Al-Amiri (Badr Organization) will obtain 24. One seat, while seats are distributed among various Shiite forces.

The study ruled out the victory of the Sadrist movement, if it participates in the upcoming parliamentary elections, with more than 70 seats, as it did in the last ballot in 2021.

The sources said, “The electoral machine in the (coordination framework) favored Al-Sadr’s victory with 60 seats, at best.”

The sources justified this decline by saying that the Sadrist movement is no longer the only one that has the advantage of mobilizing loyalists, after Al-Maliki, for example, and others decided to follow the same method since the last local elections.

Regarding the study’s expectations for Sudanese’s future, the sources said that the numbers that he could win are worrying leaders in the “coordination framework,” and they expected that he would be offered renewal for a second term in exchange for withdrawing from the electoral competition, and perhaps letting his allies return to the mantle of the Shiite alliance.

Al-Sudani was trying to avoid clashes with the leaders of the influential parties in the “coordination framework,” especially when he agreed not to participate in the recent local elections, even though he leads the “Furatin Movement” party.

Al-Sudani founded this party after he split from the “State of Law” coalition led by Nouri al-Maliki, following the protest movement in late 2019.

The situation is that the leaders of the “coordination framework” are treating this recently completed study as an approved chart to determine the new parliamentary weights, but the way to deal with Sudanese’s chances will go towards making a settlement with him, “unless Iran objects to the proposal to grant him a second term,” according to what Sources say.

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