The parliamentary election which was held on the 12th of May 2018, brought many new faces to the forefront of Iraqi politics. In the province of Nineveh, which was recently liberated, the new candidates might affect the Iraqi political arena.
As the results in Iraq recently came in, the spectrum of politicians that were voted into parliament saw significant changes. These changes were felt substantially in the province of Nineveh, in northern Iraq.
Initial reactions to the results seemed fairly positive despite reports of a number of electoral violations and low turnout.
The Victory Coalition, whose candidate was a local of Mosul and former Defence Minister, Khaled al-Obeidi, won the most seats in the province, followed by the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), and Ayad Allawi’s Wataniya Coalition. This marked a significant shift from the previous make-up off political representatives in Nineveh as al-Qarar al-Iraqi Alliance, led by Osama al-Nujaifi, lost a significant amount of votes to the Victory Coalition.
The main complaints with regards to the election violations were made by the head of the Democratic Approach Party, Nawfal al-Akoub, who is himself the Governor of Nineveh. He mentions that violations were committed in polling stations, especially the ones situated in displacement camps, which had been established to allow internally displaced people (IDP) to participate in the vote.
“We noticed that most electoral observers were not allowed to enter the polling stations, the equipment stopped functioning a lot, and the voter reception in some centres was delayed beyond 8:30pm, and beyond 10:00pm in the camps”.
Osama al-Nujaifi also criticised the voting process, stating that he was surprised by the appearance of numbers exceeding the total number of candidates. He also noted that he filed an appeal against the credibility of biometric devices and the possibility of tampering with the results.
“We noticed at the polling stations that some number shown by the electronic device were exceeding the limit such as the numbers 89 and 74,” said Nujaifi. “The largest alliances in Nineveh Province have 62 candidates”.
In any case, the make-up of political representation in Nineveh saw changes that reflected recent events in the province, especially the pivotal liberation of Mosul from ISIS, which was the terrorist group’s de facto capital of its alleged Islamic State.