It’s been two and a half months since the January 2009 Provincial elections, and five of the fourteen provinces that voted have not named their governors or other top officials. This is due to political disputes between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law List and other Shiite parties. Maliki’s State of Law won in eight of the nine southern provinces. Karbala was the one exception where an independent, Youssef Majid al-Habboubi won. He didn’t run as part of a party or List however, so the State of Law gained control there as well. Still, the State of Law only won majorities in Baghdad and Basra, so they needed coalitions in the rest of the provinces to rule. As Norwegian Iraq analyst Reidar Visser points out, Maliki could’ve either formed broad Shiite coalitions to rule or tried to rule with Dawa on top. He chose the latter. This has held up appointing governors, heads of councils, etc. because Maliki has been unable to put together enough parties to form majorities. Even in provinces where top officials have been named there has been controversy. This has happened in Ninewa where the Kurds are boycotting the new Sunni Al-Hadbaa-led council, and in Diyala where the State of Law is protesting Maliki’s current backers in parliament. Rather than ushering in a new era of Iraqi politics, the provincial elections have simply re-arranged the parties at the top, while kept up the bickering and in fighting. They will also face greater problems when they actually try to rule, as their budgets will be about 50% less than the previous year because of the country’s fiscal problems.
Below is a list of the officials that have been named so far, and those provinces that still lack a government. Also how the Lists and individuals finished, and how many seats they received.
Anbar – 29 seats
Governor Qaseem Muhammad – Independent (Backed by Awakening of Iraq and Independents – 1st 8 seats)
Head of Council Jassem Mohammed Hamad – Iraq National Project – Tied for 2nd 6 seats
Babil – 30 seats
Governor Salman Hassan al-Zarkani – Independent ?
1st Deputy Governor Iskandar Wattout – Civil Society List – Tied for 3rd 3 seats
2nd Deputy Governor Sadeq al-Mhanna – National Reform Party – Tied for 3rd 3 seats
Baghdad – 57 seats
Governor Salah Abd al-Razzaq – State of Law – 1st 28 seats
2nd Deputy Governor Kamil Saeed al-Saeedi - ?
Head of Council Kamil al-Zaydi – State of Law
Deputy Head of Council Thamir Riyad al-Addad – State of Law
Basra – 35 seats
The State of Law List has a majority with twenty seats, but has not been able to fill any positions yet.
Dhi Qar – 31 seats
Head of Council Qusai al-Ibadi – State of Law – 1st 13 seats
Deputy Head of Council Abdulhadi Mohan – State of Law
Diyala – 29 seats
Governor Abdulnasir al-Muntasirbillah – Iraqi Accordance Front – 1st 9 seats
Deputy Governor Furat Mohammed - ?
Head of Council Taleb Mohammed Hassan – Kurdish Alliance
The Iraqi National List who came in second with six seats, the Iraqi National List that came in fourth with three seats, the State of Law that came in tied for fifth with two seats, and the National Reform Party that came in last with one seat are disputing these appointments. They have held street demonstrations.
Karbala – 27 seats
Governor Amaleddin Majeed Hameed Kadhem – State of Law – Tied for 2nd 9 seats
1st Deputy Governor Abbas al-Musawi - Hope of Rafidain – Tied for 2nd 9 seats
2nd Deputy Governor Youssefl al-Habboubi – Independent – 1st 1 seat
Head of Council Amal al-Rafidayn – Hope of Rafidain
Maysan – 27 seats
On April 12 the Maysan council was supposed to meet to elect officials, but that was cancelled when the Sadrists of the Independent Trend of the Noble Ones who came in third with seven seats claimed the State of Law that finished first with eight seats was not going to give them the governorship.
Muthanna – 26 seats
The State of Law List, which tied for first with five seats, has not been able to put together a majority coalition yet.
Najaf – 28 seats
The State of Law List that came in tied for first with the Supreme Council’s Al-Mihrab Martyr List has not been able to name any officials yet.
Ninewa – 37 seats
Governor Atheel al-Nujafi – Al-Hadbaa List – 1st 19 seats
2nd Deputy Governor Hassan Mahmoud Ali – Independent
Head of Council Faisal Abdullah al-Yawir – Al-Hadbaa List
Deputy Head of Council Wild-dar Zebari – Al Hadbaa List
The Kurdish Ninewa Brotherhood List that came in second with twelve seats is boycotting the provincial council.
Qadisiyah – 28 seats
State of Law came in first place with 11 seats. The Iraqi National List, which finished tied for 3rd, quit an alliance with them over who should be named deputy governor and deputy head of council. Fadhila, who tied for fifth place with two seats, was also supposed to be part of this alliance, but is arguing over positions as well.
Salahaddin – 28 seats
Governor Mutashar al-Aliwi – Iraqi Accordance Front – Tied for 1st 5 seats
The other provincial positions have not been filled because of political disputes. Salahaddin had the most parties elected to office.
Wasit – 28 seats
Governor Lateef Hamad al-Tarfa – Independent Trend of the Noble Ones – Tied for 3rd 3 seats
Head of Council Mahmoud Abdulrida Talal – Al-Mihrab Martyr List (SIIC) – 2nd 6 seats
Lateef Hamad al-Tarfa was re-elected governor of Wasit by the SIIC. The State of Law List who came in first with thirteen seats, was trying to block his nomination. They held street protests for a few days. The Dawa Party – Iraq also left the State of Law alliance in Wasit taking with it its three seats.
Associated Press, “Iraqi provincial election results,” 2/19/09
Aswat al-Iraq, “4 blocs to contest the results of Diala council votes,” 4/12/09
- “Atheel Nejefi elected as Ninewa governor,” 4/12/09
- “Babel council elects independent engineer as governor,” 4/18/09
- “Baghdad’s second deputy governor elected,” 4/20/09
- “Dawlat al-Qanoon in Wassit wants governor out of office,” 4/13/09
- “Demonstrators want Wassit governor out of office,” 4/11/09
- “Final deal to share sovereign posts in Diwaniya – official,” 4/13/09
- “Iraqi List quits Dawlat al-Qanoon alliance in Diwaniya,” 4/13/09
- “Karbala governor assumes duty after republican decree issued,” 4/19/09
- “New alliance of winning blocs formed in Thi-Qar,” 3/30/09
- “New Diala governor elected,” 4/11/09
- “New governor picked for Anbar,” 4/11/09
- “New provincial council’s head, deputy selected in Thi-Qar,” 4/16/09
- “No decrease in salaries because of oil prices – planning minister” 12/19/08
- “Shahid al-Mihrab names 2 members for Missan council,” 4/11/09
- “Shiite party quits alliance in Wassit,” 4/11/09
- “Squabbles impede election of Salah al-Din council chief,” 4/12/09
- “Thousands stage demonstrations in Diala,” 4/8/09
- “Wassit governor, provincial council chief elected,” 4/15/09
- “Zaydi unanimously elected to chair Baghdad provincial council,” 4/8/09
Hendawi, Hamza, “Iraqi Shiites rally for populist candidate,” Associated Press, 3/14/09
Reilly, Corinne and Abbas, Ali, “Kurdish-Arab tensions continue to grow in northern Iraq,” McClatchy Newspapers, 4/14/09
Visser, Reidar, “Iraq’s New Provincial Councils: A Mixed Picture North of Baghdad, Unexpected Complications in the Centre and the South,” Historiae.org, 4/13/09