National Iraqi Alliance

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National Iraqi Alliance
al-Itilaf al-Watani al-Iraqi
الائتلاف الوطني العراقي
Leader Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Founded 2005 (2005)
Ideology Shi'a Islamism
International affiliation None
Seats in the Council of Representatives of Iraq:
70 / 325
Politics of Iraq
Political parties
Elections

The National Iraqi Alliance (NIA or INA; Arabic: الائتلاف الوطني العراقي‎; transliterated: al-Itilaf al-Watani al-Iraqi), also known as the Watani List, is an Iraqi electoral coalition that contested the Iraqi legislative election, 2010. The Alliance is mainly composed of Shi'a Islamist parties. The alliance was created by the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (the at the time largest Shi'a party) to contest in the January 2005 and December 2005 under the name United Iraqi Alliance (UIA; Arabic: الائتلاف العراقي الموحد‎; transliterated: al-I'tilāf al-`Irāqī al-Muwaḥḥad), when it included all Iraq's major Shi'a parties. The United Iraqi Alliance won both those of elections however later fell apart after several major parties (most notably the Sadr Movement) left the alliance due to disputes with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Supreme Council.1

The component parties contested the 2009 provincial elections separately but later that year started negotiations to revive the list. In August 2009 they announced the creation of the National Iraqi Alliance for the 2010 parliamentary election, this time without Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Islamic Dawa Party, which formed the State of Law Coalition.2 Later that year the two lists would re-unite again, forming the National Alliance.3

January 2005 Parliamentary Election

Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, casts his ballot at a poll station in Baghdad.

The Alliance formed in the lead-up to the January 2005 elections from mainly Shi’ite groups most importantly the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, whose leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim headed the list, and Islamic Dawa Party. Other important members included the secular Iraqi National Congress led by Ahmed Chalabi and the independent nuclear physicist Hussain Shahristani. It also included supporters of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who preferred not to back his National Independent Cadres and Elites party, and a number of independent Sunni representatives. The coalition was widely believed to have been supported by senior Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most widely respected religious figure in Iraq. Although al-Sistani offered no official endorsement, many in Iraq understood the UIA to be the “al-Sistani list.”

The twenty two parties included in the coalition, which was called List 228, were:

  1. Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI)
  2. Badr Organisation
  3. Islamic Dawa Party (al-Dawa)
  4. Islamic Dawa Party—Iraq Organisation
  5. Islamic Virtue Party
  6. Hezbollah Movement in Iraq
  7. Hezbollah al-Iraq
  8. Islamic Action Organisation
  9. Sayyid Al-Shuhadaa Organisation
  10. Shaheed Al-Mihrab Organisation
  11. Iraqi National Congress (INC)
  12. Centrist Assembly Party
  13. Islamic Fayli Grouping in Iraq
  14. Fayli Kurd Islamic Union
  15. First Democratic National Party
  16. Assembly “Future of Iraq”
  17. Justice and Equality Grouping
  18. Islamic Master of the Martyrs Movement
  19. Islamic Union for Iraqi Turkomans
  20. Turkmen Fidelity Movement

Many members of the Alliance had lived in exile in Iran, including Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iraq’s Prime Minister from 2005 to 2006, who led the Islamic Dawa Party. In 1980 thousands of al-Dawa supporters were imprisoned or executed after advocating replacing Saddam Hussein’s secular Ba'ath Party government with an Islamic government. The Iranian government supported their efforts and allowed members of Al-Da’wa to seek exile in Iran.

The Alliance received 4.08 million votes (48.1%) in the election, which gave the bloc 140 seats on the 275-seat Council of Representatives of Iraq. The Alliance's nominees included 42 women. The Alliance formed a coalition Iraqi Transitional Government with the Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, leader of the Islamic Dawa Party, became th Prime Minister of Iraq and Jalal Talabani of the Kurdistani Alliance became the President of Iraq.

In March 2005, the Iraqi Turkmen Front agreed to join the UIA’s caucus in the National Assembly. In return, Sistani reportedly pledged support for the recognition of Iraqi Turkmen as a national minority.4

December 2005 Parliamentary Election

The Iraqi National Congress left the alliance prior to the December 2005 elections, which also brought the Sadrist Movement more firmly into the Alliance. Al-Sistani also stated that he would not support any party in this election.

The election saw an increased turnout, mainly because the Sunni Arab population decided not to boycott. The alliance won 5.0 million votes (41.2%) an increase of 23% in the number of votes but a reduction of 6.9% in the vote share. They gained 128 seats, 12 fewer than the previous election.

Analysis of the seat allocation after the elections showed that the 109 district seats and 19 compensatory seats won by the UIA were split as follows:

Split of United Iraqi Alliance seats by party [2][3] (includes 2 members from The Upholders of the Message who caucus with the UIA)
Party District Seats Compensatory Seats Total
SCIRI & Badr Organization 21 15 36
Sadrist Movement 27 2 29
Islamic Virtue Party 14 1 15
Islamic Dawa Party 13 0 13
Islamic Dawa Party - Iraq Organisation 12 0 12
Independents and others 24 1 25
Total 111 19 130

Other parties include:

Following the election, the Islamic Virtue Party withdrew from the Alliance, saying they wanted to "prevent blocs forming on a sectarian basis". This followed differences with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki over control of the Oil Ministry in the Government of Iraq from 2006.5 This was followed in September 2007 by the Sadrist Movement, who complained the Alliance was "dominated by some parties".6

The Alliance formed a coalition with the Kurdistani Alliance, the Sunni Arab-majority Iraqi Accord Front and the secularist Iraqi National List. The Alliance nominated Jaafari for another term as Prime Minister, but his appointment was blocked by the Alliance's coalition partners. Nouri al-Maliki, a deputy leader of the Islamic Dawa Party was agreed instead.7

National Iraqi Alliance: 2010 Parliamentary Election

The component parties of the United Iraqi Alliance contested the 2009 provincial elections separately and in August 2009 they announced a new coalition for the 2010 parliamentary election without Prime Minister Maliki's Islamic Dawa Party. The new alliance was called the National Iraqi Alliance.2 The chairman of the group is former Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.8

The parties taking part in the National Iraqi Alliance for the 2010 elections include:

Results

Governorate Votes Percentage Seats Won Total Seats
Anbar 4,805 1.0% 0 14
Babil 180,193 30.7% 5 16
Baghdad 561,659 22.1% 17 68
Basra 237,010 29.1% 7 24
Dhi Qar 244,818 42.8% 9 18
Diyala 85,821 17.1% 3 13
Dahuk 179 0.04% 0 10
Erbil 404 0.06% 0 14
Karbala 81,794 24.5% 3 10
Kirkuk 12,517 2.3% 0 12
Maysan 135,319 49.6% 6 10
al-Muthanna 71,699 31.3% 3 7
Najaf 152,698 37.1% 5 12
Ninawa 38,693 3.7% 0 31
al-Qadisiyyah 133,821 35.8% 5 11
Salah ad-Din 21,260 2.6% 0 12
Sulaymaniyah 188 0.02% 0 17
Wassit 129,188 34.3% 4 11
Compensatory seats - 28.6% 2 7
Total: 2,092,066 18.2% 70 325[4]
Split of National Iraqi Alliance seats by party
Party District Seats Compensatory Seats Total
Sadrist Movement 39 0 39
ISCI & Badr Organization 17 1 18
Islamic Virtue Party (Fadhila) 6 0 6
National Reform Trend 1 1 2
Independents and others 5 0 5
Total 68 2 70

Among the five seats not belonging to the INA's 4 major parties, 1 seat went to ISCI affiliated Hezbollah in Iraq, 1 seat went to the Iraqi National Accord (Ahmad Challabi's seat) and 1 went to the Basra based Shaykhi party: Gathering of Justice and Unity.

References

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