Iraq's Oct. 10 elections resulted in major advances for independent candidates, who won over 40 of the 329 seats in the parliament. This was initially seen as a potentially healthy development in the democratic process—but only if the winning independents are unified and form a strong bloc to confront the traditional forces on the political stage. Almost two months later, the divisions which plague Iraqi politics have also spread to the independents.
As a result, rather than a single bloc, multiple new alliances have been announced in a context characterized by intense political competition and a wave of bickering among the forces competing to form Iraq’s next government.
Division in the south?
In the past weeks, the southern governorates of Babil (Babylon) and Najaf have been the scene of several meetings among a number of winning independent candidates and forces emanating from the October (Tishreen) protest movement. The aim of these meetings has been to exchange political visions and attempt to join forces under the leadership of the Imtidad Movement, which won nine seats in the elections....
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