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By Hussein Ahmed Al-Sarhan


In May12, 2018, Iraqis cast their votes in the fourth parliamentary elections since 2003 and the first after defeated ISIL, (also known as ISIS), in northern and western cities of Iraq. The parliamentary election took place under popular rejection of the election law and the "Independent" High Electoral Commission (IHEC) which was formed on the basis of partisan quotas. Therefore, it isn’t independent actually. Despite of the popular rejection of the system of counting and sorting which uses the Sainte-Lague method as amended and IHEC, but the dominant political parties insisted on passing the election law which included Sainte-Lague method.

In addition, the ballot has seen a lot of infringements in Sulaymaniyah, (Kurdistan region), Kirkuk, Mosul, Anbar and Salah Al-Addin provinces as well as Baghdad. Also, some candidates deceived voters in the some internally displaced people (IDPs) camps and seized their electoral card in Al-Anbar for example. Moreover, the election results of the Iraqi diaspora were manipulated at some polling centers in Jordan and other countries.

These infringements aimed to reducing of political impact of some ethnic and political parties as happened in Kirkuk, Sulaymaniyah, Al-Anbar and the Iraq diaspora elections.

A wide rejection of the voting leading to concerns about the democracy and democratic political regime in Iraq. A limited participation in the voting and falsification of its results will lead to weakening the legitimacy of the legislative and executive authorities and will be considered as incomplete legitimacy. Despite the adoption of the third modification of the election law by the representative's council that approved by the Federal Supreme Court, then the legitimacy shortage may push the entire political regime to be imbalance and the authority may be collapse especially in the cities where the infringements has been occurred.

Moreover, what happened after the elections may lead to political crises and civil war or armed conflict between the political parties and militias who lost the elections with the winners. The conflict is due to exist of some political forces and militias that subordinated to an influential regional states which seeking to form a new Iraqi government according to the same rules that were adopted in the formation of previous governments. Those rules were included the sectarian and political quotas that have made the previous governments which were weak and divided to be exploited by those regional powers to achieve their political and economic interests.

Otherwise, there are other political forces which won in (the) elections 2018 seek to form a new national government with adopting non-sectarian and non-ethnic rules and it reject foreign intervention, because they promised their voters to forming a government that going to improve security situation, enhanced the infrastructure and services and combat corruption. Therefore, confronting of foreign influence is very difficult and may lead to the instability.

Today, these confrontation is require to solution of many security, political, economic, social, cultural problems. So, while Iraqis applying their approach to reform their political regime, then, they need international community supports to preventing foreign effects by regional and international powers.

Iraqi people are recognizes the need of political reforms not to fall of political regime. So, demonstrations began in southern and middle of Iraq to demand better service in the electricity, water and health sectors. Fail of the next government and parliament in achieve these demands and correct the performance of political regime, will push the people to demand a political change as what happened in 2003. Thus, policy makers must be know this fact and take the opportunity to achieve the political reforms that to be reflected positively on the people.

Hussein Ahmed Al-Sarhan/ Political Science (Ph.D.). He is head of the political studies dept./ center for strategic studies CSS – Karbala University- Iraq. He is a researcher and writer on Iraq's political and economic affairs. [email protected]