With regard to the first matter, many party members declined to give details on the election results. But reliable information from within the party confirms that Maliki was re-elected by consensus, he had no challenger, and no one voted against him.
Dawa is no different from other Iraqi parties: their internal elections happen under complete blackout. Many believe that Iraqi parties call for electoral transparency only when it has to do with those parties’ conflicts with other parties.
But Maliki’s unanimous election to lead his own party indicates that the talk in recent months about the existence of “hawks” and “doves” within the party, and that a number of figures wished to challenge Maliki, was finally settled in favor of Maliki, who was elected by consensus.
The second important matter is that the Dawa Party is in effect leading the Iraqi state and its sensitive institutions and that the party is deeply interfering in government actions. The party did not explain its ideas, goals and vision for the next phase (at least publicly). And it did not propose ideas and programs for Iraq and the region, even though this is something that should be explained to the public when a major party holds a general convention.
These remarks perhaps reveal something hidden in the internal Dawa conflict. The party, which does not rely on the charisma of its leader Maliki to gain popular support, is facing numerous questions about its future. The most important of those questions is over what Maliki is truly leading. Is he leading the party or the political bloc (the State of Law Coalition) that was formed in 2009 under his leadership and was supposed to be have a national outlook, not a religious or sectarian one?