Maliki Goes on Offence as Elections Approach

The coalition is participating in the elections in all cities with a Shiite majority and focusing its electoral campaign on the Shiite audience. Maliki started his electoral rounds with a visit to Basra in southern Iraq on April 11, and he later visited all Shiite cities.

During these rounds, Maliki sought to promote his coalition by sponsoring or launching new service projects such as the inauguration of a big hospital in Najaf. He also inspected the site of the Besmaya Housing Project in Baghdad, which is one of the largest housing projects in the capital and aims at building more than 100,000 housing units.

In the speech he gave during his visit to the site, Maliki vowed to begin implementing the plan to build 1 million new housing units in the country to solve the housing crisis. He also emphasized that the slackening in developing infrastructure and services stems from the lack of cooperation by other political forces and from the parliament’s attempt to hamper any achievements that are in the interest of the government and prime minister.

In his visits, Maliki also distributed many lots of land to those who do not have homes. His opponents considered this an exploitation of his governmental position to win the support of voters.

Regarding the elections in mixed areas with significant Shiite minorities, Maliki’s party allied with other Shiite groups in multiparty alliances.

In Diyala, the Fadila Party and the Sadiqoun Bloc, which represents the paramilitary Ahl al-Haq Movement, joined the State of Law Coaltion. In Kirkuk, Maliki’s party joined the gathering called Turkman Kirkuk Coalition, which also includes the Fadila Party, the Sadiqoun Bloc and the National Reform Movement led by former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

In Saladin, Maliki’s coalition joined the Islamic Supreme Council, the Independent Bloc, the Badr Organization, the Fadila Party, the Sadiqoun Bloc and the National Reform Movement in a Shiite alliance that excludes Sadrists and carries the name of the National Saladin Alliance.

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