"shifts and surprises"

Iraqi analyst reviews the local elections outcome

Iraqi political scientist Ghassan Al-Shabib, specializing in political science and international relations, has analyzed the preliminary results of the provincial elections, highlighting significant shifts in the political landscape. His observations include:

Iraq’s recent provincial council elections have revealed significant political shifts and surprises, marking a notable change in the country’s political landscape.

Asaib Ahl Al-Haq’s Downfall: The coalition only secured nine seats, indicating a major decline in its political influence.
Badr Organization and Fadhila Party’s Comeback: With 20 and 10 seats respectively, these parties have made a significant comeback.
Sanad’s Successful Investment: The party led by Ahmad Al-Asadi gained 13 seats, showcasing its growing popularity.
Decline of Dawa Party and Bashaer: These traditional parties saw a reduction in support, securing only 25 seats.
Individual Regional Projects Triumph: Asaad Al-Eidani in Basra, the Khatabi in Karbala, and Mohammed Jameel in Wasit won majorities in their respective provincial councils, demonstrating the success of individual, region-specific initiatives.
Ahmed Al-Jubouri and Mohammed Al-Halbousi Maintain Dominance: Their continued success in Salah Al-Din and Anbar with comfortable majorities highlights their strong regional influence.
Shift in Kurdish Power: The Kurdish parties experienced a decline in Mosul and Kirkuk, with only 4 and 5 seats respectively, indicating a shift towards Arab and Turkmen parties.
Sunni Arab Success in Diyala: Sunni Arab parties won nine seats, reflecting their political standing in the region.
Modest Presence of Civil Forces: The elections saw a limited impact from civil society forces.
New Youth Forces Emerge: Small nuclei of emerging local youth forces were visible in the election results.
New Faces in Traditional Coalitions: Many of the winners in traditional coalitions and lists were new entrants.
Disappointment with Election Commission Management: There was significant criticism of the Election Commission’s failure to control and penalize electoral violations, such as vote-buying and misuse of public resources.
Realization Among Candidates: Several candidates and parties recognized their unsuitability for political work.
Fall of Some Activists and Protesters: Many who claimed secular, patriotic stances and opposed the ruling system were seen collaborating with established parties in these elections, leading to a loss of their social standing in protest and opposition arenas.

These outcomes from the provincial council elections indicate a shift in voter preferences and political dynamics, with an inclination towards new faces and independent initiatives, albeit within the framework of traditional coalitions.