Some believe that the nomination of Maliki’s sons-in-law in Karbala may have been partly aimed at belittling one of the most prominent leaders in the Dawa Party, Higher Education Minister Ali al-Adeeb, who ran at the head of the list of the State of Law Coalition in the city.
According to leaked election results, Maliki’s two relatives collected together a large number of votes at Adeeb’s expense. They hail from Karbala and managed to establish extensive relationships with the social forces, especially through the “nongovernmental” organizations they support and fund. They also take advantage of their kinship with the prime minister to provide facilities and benefits to some segments of society.
Hussein established a charitable foundation under the name of “Rehab,” which introduces itself on its Facebook page as “a charitable foundation seeking to serve the families of Karbala and make their voices heard by the highest authority in the state.”
For his part, Yasser has played a role in contacting tribes in the center and south of the country. He also founded an organization under the name of “Al-Shabab Houna,” to take care of and provide services to young people. His name was put forth to be nominated as the new governor of Karbala in case the post becomes available in the future.
The predominance of the executive power is not something new. It has been present in most rentier states, and it seems that the same scenario is now playing out in Iraq. With this predominance, constitutional institutions have been surpassed, becoming weaker, as opposed to the growing political patronage as a way to manage the state’s affairs. Should things continue down this path, the old political legacies in Iraq are likely to be back to the forefront. These politics were based on the quasi-unilateral dependence on oil revenues to serve the interests of the dominant forces, which run this process in such a way to preserve their power and dominance.
(Corruption image via Shutterstock)