Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Now that the results of the recent elections in Iraq are in we can understand more about the process. The voter turnout of 59% was based on the list of 'registered' voters. This system was based on the ration cards and in the event it turned out that some of those 'registered' had either left the country or were in fact dead. As no census was possible the number of 'eligible' voters is not known but based on anecdotal evidence post election, it now appears certain that the number of registered voters was significantly lower the 14 million quoted prior to the elections. What follows is an analysis of the vote by Ali Fadhil at Free Iraqi:

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Some observations from the Iraqi elections.

The results of the Iraqi elections were generally expected (at least after the primary vote count) but it did result in some interesting statistics and facts. The first noticeable is that the "Unified Coalition List" did not get the number of votes its members as well as most spectators expected. Shortly before announcing the results, and as I mentioned in the previous post, a "high official" from the coalition list stated to Radio Sawa that they were informed by the electoral Commission that their list achieved 60% of the votes!

Anyway, I was personally relieved by this result, not because it's not enough for the religious parties to impose Share'a law, as this is totally impossible in my opinion, but because it meant that a considerable percentage of She'at chose other than what their spiritual leader favored. The She'at generaly showed more maturity and trust in the future of Iraq than the Kurds whom their vast majority of votes went to the "Kurdish Alliance". I believe that in the next elections with better security and with other parties more inclined to run a wide public campaign, whatever list Sistani would support would get even much less than what the coalition list did get.Also I was doing some calculations and found out the following:

1-the religious parties (including Christian, Sunni and Yezidies) achieved together 4 323 923 votes which equals about 51% of the total vote. (This includes the Coalition List which is not entirly religious)

2-Ethnic parties (Kurds, Turkmen, Arab nationalists) achieved 2 289 713 votes which equals about 27% of the total votes.

3-Individual lists achieved all together 52399 votes but none got a seat.

4-Parties based on tribes got only 3850 votes.

5- Secular democratic parties got 1594829 votes which comprises about 19% of the total votes.

6-Communists which are one major and one small party got 73354. The Iraqi communist Party which is the major one got almost exactly its members total number! Most polls here expected them to score better than that but it seems that only communists vote for communists, and it makes sense! I for one sympathize with the communists but would never vote for them.

7- Monarchists and other local groups achieved together 118098 votes but none got a seat.

8-only 11 parties got seats in the national assembly.

9-only 19 lists out of the total 111 lists achieved more than 10 000 votes. One of these is an individual running alone.

10-Small democratic parties failed to achieve any good results with most of them scoring between 1000 and 500 votes.

11-Al Pachachi failed to get a seat, as his list got only 23302 votes.

12-Also former GC member Nassir Al Chadarchi's party "National Democratic Party" that was established in the 30th of the last century achieved only 1603 votes. Another party, "The Democratic Community Movement" That has 2 former GC members in it and the former spokesman of the GC scored 3527 votes.

13-The highest votes received by a single list was 4 075 295 for the "Unified Coalition" and the lowest was 411 votes for an individual list.

14- Our party, "The Iraqi Pro-Democracy party" achieved 1 566 votes which is a small number but it was worth the effort as we learned a lot from this experience. There were also 26 parties that scored lower than that. This showed clearly that small young parties with no religious or ethnic affiliation must consolidate together and form one entity in order to survive and I guess most of these parties see this now.

In the end I'd like to point out something about the turn out that may have been missed. Outside Iraq the number of eligible voters depended on rough estimations while the registered voters' number became known after the elections. So the turn out outside Iraq was correctly calculated among registered voters not eligible, as this last one remains not well identified.

However, inside Iraq the system depended on the food ration coupons which contained not just the names of Iraqis inside Iraq, from which the eligible voters' number was calculated, but also so many Iraqis outside Iraq and some dead even! All those above 18 that are enlisted in the food ration coupons were considered registered voters. I and all I know did not have to register. We just received our ballot that contained our family members' names who are above 18 that are enlisted in our food ration coupon including my sister's name who left Iraq for more than a year and came back just few months ago. We never reported her departure so did most families who had their sons and daughters leaving Iraq after 1991 fearing interrogation or even punishment as it was seen as an unpatriotic act!

One of my neighbors received his family's ballot with his father's name included even though he died a year ago. Under reporting of deaths was not that uncommon but it became more common after the last war as a result of the total collapse of the system for months. Another neighbor had his two sons' names registered although they both left Iraq since 1995. This means that many Iraqis outside Iraq, regardless whether they voted or not, were considered registered eligible non-voters inside Iraq!

I saw the turn out in our neighborhood which is mainly a Sunni ex-Ba'athist one and I and most my friends thought it was more than 80%, which makes me think that the announced turn out is even much less than the actual one and it's definitely not just for registered voters, a term that gives the impression that there are Iraqis who did not register, which did not happen as there was no registeration except for very limited cases.

It's been a great event in Iraq and we intend to celebrate the results formaly as winners because there are no losers in Iraq now except the tiny minority formed by hardcore Ba'athists and Salafis.


Brian H said...

I must confess I didn't know you were an IPDP member. Thanks for the vote tallies and calculations. Your assessment seems right on, to me. Here's another interesting analysis quoted by Chrenkoff:

Amir Taheri:

"The supposed total exclusion of the Arab Sunnis from the National Assembly did not happen, either. Arab Sunnis account for some 15 per cent of the Iraqi population and are a majority in four out of 18 provinces. In three of those provinces the voter turnout was below 30 per cent, and in one, Anbar, dropped to 2 per cent. But only half of the Arab Sunnis live in those provinces. The other half, in Baghdad and other major cities, voted in larger numbers.

"Based on their demographic strength, the Arab Sunnis should have 42 seats in the 275-seat transitional National Assembly. The final results show that the new assembly will have 49 Arab Sunnis sitting in it. Of these 40 were elected on the Shia-led and the Kurdish lists, plus the list headed by Iyad Allawi, the interim Prime Minister. Five were elected on a list led by Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawer, the Arab Sunni interim President, while four more won within smaller alliances. If we add the Kurds, who are also Sunni Muslims, at least 110 members of the assembly are Sunnis."

So the Sunnis are OVER-represented! :)

membrain said...

brian h, sorry for the confusion. I'm not an IPDP member, I was quoting Ali Fadhil who is a member. Ali Fadhil is one of the brothers who started Iraq the Model and recently started his own blog called free Iraqi. I'm a 4th generation Canadian of British heritage.