Iraq’s last parliamentary elections were held in 2014 and saw the ruling Shiite National Alliance form a coalition government with the Kurds and Sunnis. File photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraq’s electoral commission has set May 12, 2018 for the country’s next parliamentary elections, the date needs to be yet approved by the Iraqi parliament.
Kate al-Zubaei, deputy head of the Iraqi commission, announced that they made this announcement in accordance with the the law that requires the commission to hold the general election before the end of the current term of the parliament.
Iraq’s last parliamentary elections were held in 2014 and saw the ruling Shiite National Alliance form a coalition government with the Kurds and Sunnis.
It is not clear as of yet whether the Kurdish parties will join the Iraqi elections, following the Region’s vote to leave Iraq in the September 25 referendum with an overwhelming 93 percent.
The United States, among others, opposed the Kurdish vote in September as it wanted the Kurdish parties to stand strong behind the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to win a second term in office.
Kurdish officials, including President Masoud Barzani, have said that the Kurds had little to no influence over Iraqi politics since they could at best get 70 seats out of the 328 seats in the Iraqi parliament.
Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqi Vice President, and head of Abadi’s Dawa Party, has for long advocated for a political majority to run the country, a formula that will radically change the state of the Iraqi politics that has been in place since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The Kurds used to have an influential role in Baghdad when key issues that concern the Kurdish Region were settled through consensus, as opposed to a majority vote in the Iraqi legislature.
The United States and experts however, may still see the Kurds as a crucial counter balance hardline Shiites and as support for Abadi.