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WikiLeaks: 2009-01-15: 09BASRAH1: Basra Provincial Election Roadmap

by WikiLeaks. 09BASRAH1: January 15, 2009.

Posted: Monday, December 30, 2013 at 02:26 PM UT


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Reference ID Created Classification Origin
09BASRAH1 2009-01-15 10:14 CONFIDENTIAL REO Basrah
DE RUEHBC #0001/01 0151014
P 151014Z JAN 09
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BASRAH 000001 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  1/15/2019 
REF: A) BASRA 00081; B) BASRA 00070; C) BASRA 00067 
BASRAH 00000001  001.2 OF 003 
CLASSIFIED BY: Ramon Negron, Director, Regional Embassy Office 
Basrah, Department of State. 
REASON: 1.4 (b) 
1. (C/REL MNFI) Summary:  81 political entities have registered 
for placement on the Basra provincial ballot, including eight 
coalitions and 19 independent candidates.   Only eight 
Provincial Council members are running for re-election and many 
independent candidates have decided not to run, clearing the way 
for established parties to do well, particularly the ISCI/Badr 
coalition "Al Shahid Al Mihrab List and Independent Power." 
Sunnis and Sadrists, who boycotted the last provincial 
elections, are expected to participate fully.  End summary. 
2.  (C/REL MNFI) According to Basra Governorate Electoral Office 
(GEO) Director Hazim Joda, election day will pass smoothly and 
large-scale fraud or violence is not possible.  The 53 parties, 
eight coalitions and 16 independents registered represent a 
whopping 1,285 candidates.  No Basra candidates were rejected by 
the De-Ba'athification Commission review. 
3.  (C/REL MNFI) Of the 53 parties on the ballot, only the 
following nine entities put forth the maximum 35 candidates: 
(Note: ballot registration number follows political entity 
-- Fadilah (154) 
-- National Reform Trend (153) 
-- Iraqi National Conference (274) 
-- Independent Basra Gathering for Development and 
Reconstruction (247) 
-- Council of Elders of the South for Basra (291) 
-- Iraqi People's Gathering (410) 
-- Iraq Future Gathering (478) 
-- Iraqi Constitutional Party (482) 
-- Independent Free Current party (284) 
4.  (C/REL MNFI) Other large parties include: 
-- Free Democratic Iraq Gathering (114); 32 candidates 
-- Independents for the Sake of Iraq (367); 31 candidates 
-- Islamic Allegiance Party (208); 29 candidates 
-- South Region List (444); 28 candidates 
-- Integrity and Construction (376); 28 candidates 
-- Unity and Justice Gathering (269); 27 candidates (headed by 
Sheikh Amr al-Faiz) 
-- The Gathering of Good and National Reform (394); 26 
-- The State Party (Wa'il Abd al-Latif); 24 candidates 
-- The Intellectuals and Elites Movement (Dr. Tha'a Ameen); 24 
5.  (C/REL MNFI) 19 parties have fewer than ten candidates. 
Three parties -- the Chaldean National Council, Reformists, and 
Iraqi Popular Movement -- have a single candidate each.  Another 
party of interest is the Islamic Labor Organization (225), with 
20 candidates, which Jodah indicated is backed by "Iranian 
6.  (SBU) Following are the eight registered coalitions, five of 
which submitted the maximum 35 candidates: 
-- National Trend in Basra (428):  Composed of the Iraqi 
Communist Party, Democratic National Party, and Independent Sons 
of Iraq. 
-- Al Shahid Al Mihrab List and Independent Power (290): 
Composed of the Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council (ISCI), 
Independent Assembly for Iraq, Badr Organization, Hizbullah 
Movement in Iraq, Sayid Shuhadaa Ain Islamic Movement. 
-- List of Iraqi National Unity (105):  Composed of Iraqi 
National Unity Gathering and the Unified Iraq Council. 
-- Rule of Law Coalition (302):  Composed of Al Da'wa Islamic 
Party, Independents, Al Da'wa Islamic Party - Iraq Organization, 
Solidarity in Iraq, Iraqi Turkomen, Islamic Union. 
-- Iraqi National List (498):  Composed of Iraqi National Accord 
and Loyalty to Iraq Gathering. 
-- Basra Al-Khair (305):  Composed of Hizbullah al Iraq, and 
BASRAH 00000001  002.2 OF 003 
Peace and Construction List (only 22 candidates). 
-- National Iraqi Project Gathering (149):  Composed of Iraqi 
National Dialogue Front, Iraqi Freedom Movement, Iraqi National 
Dialogue Council, Iraqi Arabic Gathering, National Democratic 
Gathering, National Movement for Independence, Free Iraqi 
Patriotic Gathering, Iraqi Dignity Front, National Independence 
Movement, Will and Construction, People Movement for Iraq Unity, 
National Future Gathering, Sons of Iraq, Independence and 
Renaissance Movement, National Front Gathering, and Iraqi Front 
for National Dialogue (only 18 candidates). 
-- Iraq is My Country (310):  Composed of Independent Cultural 
Gathering and Iraqi National Democratic Alliance (only 17 
7.  (C/REL MNFI) Many of the independents who registered as 
candidates in June and July failed to have their names put on 
the ballot.  REO contacts Said Abd Aaly al-Musawi and Sheikh 
Amir al-Faiz) indicated that some of the following independent 
candidates will be of interest: : 
-- Dr. Adil Al Thamiry (833):  Instructor at the University of 
Basra Art School, described by REO contacts as "secular and 
-- Kareen al-Haj Soudi al-Ghazii (503):  Works for Southern Oil 
and is said to have strong ties to Iraqi Shi'a political parties. 
-- Ahmed al-Hajj Jawad al-Zaidawy (665):  Described as 
"definitely independent" and a religious moderate.  His father 
is tribal sheikh of the Beni Said Tribe and works for Sayyed 
al-Shuhadah (SAS), according to Sheikh Mohammed al-Zaydawi. 
-- Samir Al-Mayahi (640):  Contacts say this candidate's father, 
Abu Sameer Al-Mayahy, is a leader of a Badr assassination cell. 
-- Sabeeh Habeeb Yasur Al-Hashimi (644):  Contacts describe him 
as an Islamist, who works for the Sadrists and is close to 
Fadhila, active in the Businessmen Union. 
Minority Groups 
8.  (C/REL MNFI) Minority groups are more active this time 
around, seeking representation of groups such as Sunni, women, 
Christian, and black: 
-- Sunnis.  After boycotting the last provincial elections, 
Sunni and Sadrists are expected to participate fully this time. 
Parties with a Sunni profile include the Islamic Iraqi Party 
(IIP), the National Dialogue Front (part of the National Iraqi 
Project Gathering coalition), and the Iraqi National Unity 
Gathering (part of the List of Iraqi National Unity coalition). 
-- Women.  Only one female candidate, Anaam al-Salihy (501), is 
represented among the independents.  Under Iraqi law, at least 
one-quarter of all candidates must be women.  Of the 1,285 total 
candidates, 337 are women, or just over 26 percent. 
-- Christians.  According to Article 50, one council seat is 
reserved for the Christian community.  Two parties are competing 
for this seat: the Chaldean National Council (657) under Sala 
Aziz Yusef Maliki, and the United Democratic Party of the 
Chaldeans (166) represented by Sa'ad Butrus al-Yas. 
-- Basrawi Blacks.  The Iraqi Freedom Movement is a new party 
representing the interests of Iraqis of Sub-Saharan decent.  For 
financial reasons, it is running as part of National Dialogue 
Front under the coalition National Iraqi Project Gathering.  The 
party is contributing 8 candidates to the ballot. 
-- Sadrists.  Represented by three parties:  Independent Free 
Current party (284), Integrity and Construction party (376), and 
Sadr Al Iraq (485).  The former two parties were endorsed on 
January 11 by the Sadrist Trend in the Council of 
Representatives; the latter is philosophically Sadrist but not 
affiliated with the Office of the Martyr Sadr.  These are large 
parties with 35, 28, and 22 candidates respectively. 
Few Incumbents Running 
9.  (C/REL MNFI) Few of the current Provincial Council members 
are up for reelection.  Those standing again include Economic 
Committee Chairman Munadhil Abd Khangir, who is running with his 
BASRAH 00000001  003.2 OF 003 
new party, the Independent Intellectuals of Basra (339).  Former 
Governor Hasan al-Rasheed (Badr Organization) is also running 
again with the Al Shahid Al Mihrab List and Independent Power 
coalition.  Notably absent is the Governor, who has told the REO 
of his intention to seek a ministerial position in Baghdad.  PC 
Chairman Mohammed al-Obadi (Da'wa) is also not running, although 
his son apparently is.  The Chairman of the Reconstruction 
Committee, Ghali Muter, is seen as a liability and has been 
excluded by his own party, according to the UK Foreign 
Commonwealth Office in Basra. 
10.  (C/REL MNFI) Comment:  Last summer's trend toward 
independent candidates seems to have subsided, but there is 
still a dizzying list of choices for a largely illiterate 
electorate.  With few incumbents running, the Provincial Council 
will have a new face after the election.  The Al Shahid Al 
Mihrab List and Independent Power coalition (290), which 
includes ISCI and Badr, should do well.  The Rule of Law 
Coalition (302) should also do well, given that Maliki's Da'wa 
party should benefit in Basra from the success of 
Charge-of-the-Knights -- much more so than from his Tribal 
Support Councils.  Although the unpopular governor is not 
running, his Fadhila party will probably still suffer from blame 
for Basra's broken infrastructure.  With three parties and 85 
candidates, the Sadrists will likely gain seats.  Also of 
interest will be Sheikh Amir Fiaz's secular and moderate Unity 
and Justice Gathering party, which has popular support. 


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