Patterns of Electoral Behaviour in Iraq

As for the individual results, the following is a list of Iraq’s 15 most popular provincial politicians, indicating personal votes achieved, list and position on list:

  1. Khalaf Abd al-Samad 130,862 Basra 419 1 (Basra governor)
  2. Salah Salim Abd al-Razzaq 68,895 Baghdad 419 1 (Baghdad governor)
  3. Umar Aziz Hussein Salman al-Humayri 52,219 Diyala 458 58 (Diyala governor)
  4. Adnan Abad Khudayr 41,006 Najaf 441 1 (Najaf governor)
  5. Ali Dayi Lazim 38,605 Maysan 473 1 (Maysan governor)
  6. Riyad Nasir Abd al-Razzaq 21,446 Baghdad 444 1
  7. Kamil Nasir Sadun al-Zaidi 18,870 Baghdad 419 2 (Baghdad council speaker)
  8. Muin al-Kazimi 17,927 Baghdad 419 5 (leading Badr figure)
  9. Adil al-Saadi 16,686 Baghdad 419 6 (top candidate Fadila)
  10. Muthanna Ali Mahdi 14,225 Diyala 501 3 (Badr)
  11. Majid Mahdi Abd al-Abbas 14,147 Basra 411 1
  12. Ammar Yusuf Hamud 13,048 Salahaddin 444 1
  13. Saad al-Mutallabi 12,604 Baghdad 419 10 (prominent State of Law politician)
  14. Muhammad Mahdi al-Saadi 11,502 Diyala 501 1 (Fadila)
  15. Ahmad Abd al-Jabbar 11,470 Salahaddin 475 2

Several points are worthy of note here. Firstly, many of these seat winners, especially those with the highest votes, are governors. Presumably, the number one candidates on the various lists have an advantage in terms of the ability of voters to remember who they want to vote for (note though that the Diyala governor humbly put himself at the bottom of his list, only to be promoted to the top with a safe margin by his grateful electorate).

But a closer look at the new councils indicate that the personal vote has done more than just provide a bit of symbolic backing for top candidates whose seats were never under threat anyway. Crucially, a very large proportion of the new Iraqi provincial councilors have been promoted through the personal vote results, rising from positions on their party lists where they would not have received seats according to the preset formula decided by party leaderships.

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