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Iraqi governorate elections, 2009

Iraqi governorate elections, 2009
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Provinces holding election are Green; Kirkuk is Blue and Iraqi Kurdistan is Red Iraq

Governorate or provincial elections were held in Iraq on 31 January 2009, to replace the local councils in fourteen of the eighteen governorates of Iraq that were elected in the Iraqi governorate elections of 2005. [1][2] 14,431 candidates - including 3,912 women contested 444 seats. The candidates came from over 400 parties - 75% of which were newly formed. [3]

Legal Framework
Further information: Government of Iraq from 2006 In February 2008, the Iraqi Parliament passed a Provincial Powers Act by a majority of one, with many members of parliament not present at the proceedings. It included giving the Prime Minister the power to dismiss a governor of a province, a measure that would have left considerable power in the hands of the Shi’a dominated central government in Baghdad. The Act required a Provincial Elections Law to be passed within the next 90 days and for elections to be held no later than the beginning of October 2008. The Presidency Council initially referred the law back, saying it did not comply with the constitutional rights of governorates. It was reported that vice President Adil AbdulMahdi, whose Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council party is strong in many southern Iraqi governorate councils, particularly objected. [4][5] However, the Council reversed its position following protests from the Sadrist Movement, saying they would instead seek

This article is part of the series:

Politics and government of Iraq • Constitution • Federal government • Government from 2006 • Presidency Council • President (List) • Council of Ministers • Prime Minister (List) • Council of Representatives • Kurdistan Regional Government • Kurdish National Assembly • Iraqi High Tribunal • Governorates • Districts


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changes to the law before it came into force.

Iraqi governorate elections, 2009
September 2008, with a committee working on a compromise solution until then.[19] At that session, no resolution was reached, and negotiations continued on 10 September 2008 in the form of a special six-member panel formed for this occasion.[20][21] The law was finally passed on 24 September 2008 and the election is expected to be held by 31 January 2009;[22] the compromise was that Kirkuk would be dealt with separately, and elections in Kirkuk and the three Kurdish autonomous provinces will be held at a later time.[23] A special panel was to work on a solution on Kirkuk and report back by 31 March 2009.[24] The United Nations Special Representative for Iraq, Staffan de Mistura proposed holding elections in all governorates except Kirkuk, and deferring the Kirkuk elections for six months in order to find an acceptable compromise. [25] A draft bill based on this proposal was debated on 6 August and accepted by the Kurdistani Alliance but opposed by the Iraqi Turkmen Front, Iraqi Accord Front and Sadrist Movement who objected to the draft law’s reference to the Kirkuk status referendum and insisted on delaying the entire elections until a solution was found. [19][26]

In July 2008 the Iraqi Election Commission proposed postponing the elections until December because delays in passing the election law had left too little time to prepare. [7]. The Provincial Elections bill was eventually approved by the Council of Representatives on 22 July 2008 despite a walkout by members of the Kurdistani Alliance over a clause making Kirkuk Governorate council a power-sharing arrangement. [8] The next day the Presidency Council of Iraq, consisting of President Jalal Talabani, who is Kurdish, Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shi’ite Arab, and Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni Arab, unanimously agreed to reject the bill because of the Kirkuk clause, and send it back to the Council of Representatives to reconsider. [9][10] The second draft was ratified by the Presidency Council on 7 October 2008, who stated that a minority clause may be added later.[11][12] A minority clause was added on 3 November. [13]

Kirkuk Governorate
The original draft proposed delaying the election in Kirkuk Governorate until after the referendum to decide its precise status has been held. However, a group of Turkmen and Arab MPs proposed a power-sharing clause, establishing a provincial council consisting of ten Kurds, ten Arabs, ten Turkmens and two Assyrians. This clause was included in the draft election bill put to the Iraqi Council of Representatives in July 2008, and led to the Kurdish parties walking out in protest, complaining "If you already pick the seats before the election, why vote?" [14] The law was nonetheless approved on 22 July 2008. [8] However, President Jalal Talabani, who is Kurdish, and Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shi’ite Arab, have agreed they would reject the bill, and hence it would be sent back to the Council of Representatives to reconsider. [9] Parliamentary summer recess started on 30 July 2008, but a special session was called for 3 August 2008 to find a solution to the Kirkuk issue.[15] At that meeting, no solution was reached; at another meeting on 4 August 2008, lawmakers postponed the session to 5 August 2008,[16][17] and on that date to 6 August 2008.[18] It was then postponed to 9

Under Article 50 of the draft Elections law, religious minorities such as Christians and Yazidis would be reserved a number of seats in the provincial assemblies. This clause was removed in the final draft, with legislators citing a lack of census data for determining the appropriate number of seats. Five thousand Christians demonstrated in Mosul against this change, saying it was a "marginalisation of their rights" and the head of the Assyrian Church of the East wrote to the Presidency Council asking them to veto the law. [27][28] Prime Minister al-Maliki said he was concerned and called on parliament and the Iraqi High Electoral Commission to "remove all the concerns, injustice and the sense of exclusion felt by some segments of Iraqi society" [29]. Kurdish MP Mahmoud Othman called on the Presidency Council of Iraq to use its review process to force an amendment to include a minority quota, saying "The rule of the majority means there should be protection of the minorities"[30] A Sadrist leader also said Christians should be allowed


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to "contribute to the building of the Iraqi state" and the removal of this clause "threatened the unity of Iraq"[31] The UN Special Envoy also criticised the removal of the minorities clause.[32] A minority clause was added on 3 November 2008, although it only provided for six special seats (three for Christians, one each for Yazidi, Mandean and Shabak) instead of twelve as recommended by the UN.[13] The Christians got a seat each in Baghdad, Nineveh, and Basra, the Yazidi and Shabak in Nineveh, and the Mandeans in Baghdad.[33]

Iraqi governorate elections, 2009
In March, the government of Nouri al-Maliki moved against militias allied to the Sadrist Movement in Basrah Governorate. Sadrists accused Maliki of trying to weaken them ahead of the polls, but Maliki claimed he was just targeting "criminal gangs". Following this, Maliki said he would disqualify any parties from the election who refused to disband their militia. In April the cabinet agreed on a draft elections law, which included a clause banning parties with militias. [36]

Female quota
Original drafts of the Election law included a guarantee that the elected councils would contain at least 25% women. However, the law passed stated instead that there would be "a woman at the end of every three winners". The Electoral Commission has interpreted this to mean that where a list wins more than two seats in a particular governorate, the third seat will be awarded to a woman on the party’s list. Given the large number of parties contesting the election, many of whom are expected to win one or two seats, female MPs raised concerns that the change in language has weakened this provision. [34]

The security situation in this election was much better than in previous elections. Security was provided by the Iraqi security forces with the Multinational force in Iraq playing no role for the first time. [37] Candidates felt safe enough to canvass for votes, while the 2005 elections saw little public campaigning. [3] Nonetheless, eight candidates were killed during the campaign, borders were closed for voting and curfews and vehicle bans were put in place. [38] However, this compared favourably to the 2005 elections when over 200 candidates were killed.

Early voting took place on Wednesday 28 January for 614,000 soldiers, police, prisoners, patients and internally displaced people.

Electoral system
The previous Governorate and national elections in Iraq have been held under a "Closed list" electoral system, whereby voters select a party or coalition and the party or coalition selects the individual parliamentarian. The new election will be held under an "Open list" system, whereby voters may select either a party or an individual candidate; the candidates elected from a list will be those that get the most individual votes from among that list. The system also promotes the representation of women, for if the top two people elected from a list are men, the subsequent person elected will be the woman with the most votes.[35]

Sunni Arab areas
The current Governorate councils were elected in the Iraqi Governorate elections of 2005, which were boycotted by Sunni Arabs, resulting in several Sunni Arab-majority provinces such as Ninawa Governorate and Salahudin being run eiter ethnic Kurdish parties, or multi-ethnic parties of Shia faith. As Sunni Arab parties have since decided to participate in elections, these elections are expected to give them more representation. The elections are also expected to develop electoral competition within the Sunni Arab population between the pro-government Iraqi Accord Front and the new political groups formed out of the anti-al-Qaeda Awakening movement militias. A leading member of the Awakening movement in Baghdad, Abu Azzam al-Tamimi, has formed the Iraqi Dignity Front to contest the elections. The Awakening movement in Anbar has formed

Further information: Iraq Spring Fighting of 2008 and Battle of Basra (2008)


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the National Front for the Salvation of Iraq. These parties are expected to sweep the Sunni Arab vote in Anbar, Salahuddin, Diyala, and Baghdad.[39] In Ninawa, the Sunni Arab - majority alHadba party - which is also backed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [40]- complained of being targeted by Kurdish security forces. A candidate for the Sunni Arab "Iraq for Us" coalition in Ninawa was killed by a gunman who walked into a café and shot him. [41]

Iraqi governorate elections, 2009
Shortly before the election, an inititive was started in Basra Province to convert the province into a Region. The initiative failed to reach 10% of eligible voters in the specified period, meaning it fell. [48]

There were 15 million eligible voters, but hundreds of thousands of voters were omitted from the ballot lists. Mithal al-Alusi, an Arab nationalist MP, complained that there were "many mistakes" by the Commission and Iranian diplomats had been allowed entry to polling stations. [49] There were international observers in every one of the 712 constituencies - the first election since the invasion of Iraq to be fully observed [37] Unlike the 2005 election, there was no boycott by any significant political movement; [37] however, turnout was down on the previous election at slightly over 51%. ISCI blamed the election day vehicle ban, which meant voters often had to walk long distances to the polling centres. [50] Official results were not expected until days after the election.[51] Early indications were that the Islamic Dawa Party turned as largest party in Shi’a south.[52] This was confirmed in preliminary results released on 10 February 2009 as of 5 February.[53][54]

Shiite Arab areas
One senior government official said the elections would "redraw the political map of Iraq" while Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi described them as a "major rehearsal for the parliamentary elections" due in 2009-10. An expert from the International Crisis Group predicted a "big shift", with the existing parties established by exiles losing ground to more recently formed parties of people who stayed in Iraq during the rule of Saddam Hussein.[42] There is also expected to be significant electoral competition between two main Shiite Islamist parties in the government the Islamic Dawa Party of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council of Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi. Following the Battle of Basra (2008), the Prime Minister created "support councils" to help with security in the southern provinces and Maliki was accused of using these support councils to build a political base. The Presidency Council of Iraq publicly criticised the Prime Minister in November 2008, saying these support councils were illegal, should be suspended and the money used to support the regular Army and Police.

Baghdad Governorate
• Dawa - State of Law: 38% - 28 seats out of 55 • Tawafuq - National Accordance Front: 9.0% - 7 seats • Sadr - Independent Free Movement List: 9.0% - 5 seats • Iraqi National List: 8.6% - 5 seats • National Iraqi Project Gathering: 6.9% - 4 seats • Al-Mehrab Martyr List: 5.4% - 3 seats • National Reform Movement: 4.3% - 2 seats

Competition is also expected between the government Islamist parties and the opposition Sadrist Movement, with some commentators saying Sadrists were expected to win a majority of seats in southern Iraq and parts of Baghdad.[44][45] The Sadrist Movement supported the Blamelessness and Reconstruction (376) list and the Independent Trend of the Noble Ones (284) [46] Some commentators predicted there would be a backlash against the incumbant religious parties in favour of more secular parties.[47]

al-Anbar Governorate
• National Iraqi Project Gathering: 17.6% 6 seats out of 29 • Sahwa - Iraq Awakening Coalition: 17.1% 6 seats • Tribes and Educated Coalition for Development: 15.9% - 6 seats • al-Hal - National Movement for Development and Reform: 7.8% - 3 seats


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Iraqi National List: 6.6% - 2 seats Iraqi National Unity List: 4.6% - 2 seats Tribes of Iraq List: 4.5% - 2 seats Iraq Scholars and Intellectuals: 3.2% - 1 seat • National Justice Movement: 3.2% - 1 seat • Independent One Homeland Bloc: 2.7% - 1 seat • • • •

Iraqi governorate elections, 2009

Dhi Qar Governorate
• State of Law: 23.1% - 13 seats out of 31 • Independent Free Movement: 14.1% - 7 seats • Al-Mehrab Martyr List: 11.1% - 5 seats • National Reform Movement: 7.6% - 4 seats • Fadhila: 6.1% - _ seats • Iraqi Constitutional Party: 3.2% - _ seats • Iraqi National List: 2.8% - _ seats • Independent Dhi Qar Union: 2.2% - 2 seats • Independent National Bloc for the Tribes and Intellectuals of Iraq: 2.0% - _ seats

Babil Governorate
• State of Law: 12.5% - 7 seats out of 30 • Al-Mehrab Martyr List: 8.2% - 5 seats • Independent Free Movement: 6.2% - 3 seats • National Reform Movement: 4.4% - 2 seats • Iraqi Commission for Independent Civil Society Organizations: 4.1% - 2 seats • Independent Justice Association: 3.7% - 2 seats • Independent Ansar Bloc: 3.4% - 2 seats • Iraqi National List: 3.4% - 2 seat • Independent National Unity: 3.0% - 2 seats • Civilians: 2.3% - 1 seat • Tawafuq: 2.3% - 1 seat

Karbala Governorate
• Youssef Mohammed al-Haboubi: 13.3% - 6 seats out of 27 • Amal / Hope of Al-Refedein: 8.8% - 4 seats • State of Law: 8.5% - 4 seats • Independent Free Movement: 6.8% - 3 seats • Al-Mehrab Martyr List: 6.4% - 3 seats • Justice and Reform Gathering: 3.6% - 2 seats • National Reform Movement: 2.5% - 1 seat • Fadhila: 2.5% - 1 seat • National Gathering for the Tribes of Iraq – Holy Karbala: 2.3% - 1 seat • Independent Council of Tribal Leaders and Prominent Figures of Karbala Governorate: 2.2% - 1 seat

Basra Governorate
• State of Law: 37.0% - 20 seats out of 34 • Al-Mehrab Martyr List: 11.6% - 5 seats • Unity and Justice Gathering: 5.5% - 2 seats • Independent Free Movement: 5.0% - 2 seats • Islamic Party: 3.8%- 2 seats • Iraqi National List: 3.2% - 2 seats • Fadhila: 3.2% - 1 seat • National Reform Movement: 2.5% - 1 seat

al-Qadisiyyah Governorate
• • • • • • • • • • • State of Law: 23.1% - 9 seats out of 28 Al-Mehrab Martyr List: 11.7% - 4 seats National Reform Movement: 8.2% - 3 seats Iraqi National List: 8.0% - 3 seats Independent Free Movement: 6.7% - 3 seats Islamic Loyalty Party: 4.3% - 2 seats Fadhila: 4.1% - 2 seats United Diwaniya Tribes Independent Bloc: 3.4% - 1 seat Iraqi National Conference: 3.0% - 1 seat Civilians: 2.3% Iraqi Constitutional Party: 2.2%

Diyala Governorate
• Tawafuq - Accordance Front: 21.1% - 7 seats out of 29 • Kurdistan Alliance: 17.2% - 6 seats • National Iraqi Project Gathering: 15.0% 5 seats • Iraqi National List: 9.5% - 3 seats • State of Law: 6.0% - 2 seats • National Diyala Alliance: 5.3% - 2 seats • National Reform Movement: 4.3% - 1 seat • Independent Free Movement: 3.1% - 1 seat • al-Hal - National Movement for Reform and Development: 2.6% - 1 seat • Fadhila: 2.3% - 1 seat

Maysan Governorate
• State of Law: 17.7% - 8 seats out of 27 • Independent Free Movement: 15.2% - 7 seats • Al-Mehrab Martyr List: 14.6% - 7 seats • National Reform Movement: 8.7% - 4 seats • Fadhila: 3.2% - 1 seat • National Moderation Front: 2.5%


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• • • • • • Iraqi Constitutional Party: 2.5% Iraqi National List: 2.3% Hizbullah of Iraq: 2.3% Mihaniyoun / Professionals: 2.3% Maysan Skills: 2.2% Independent Sons of Iraq List: 2.2%

Iraqi governorate elections, 2009
• Yazidi Movement for Reform and Progress - 1 seat • Shabaki party - 1 seat

Salah ad-Din Governorate
• Tawafuq - Salahuddin Accordance Front: 14.5% - 5 seats out of 28 • Iraqi National List: 13.9% - 5 seats • National Iraqi Project Gathering: 8.7% - 3 seats • National Iraqi Project Front (Groups): 8.5% - 3 seats • Group of Iraq Educated and Scientists: 6.0% - 2 seats • Iraqi Turkoman Front: 4.8% - 2 seats • National Salah ad-Din List: 4.6% - 2 seats • Fraternity and Peaceful Coexistence List: 4.5% - 2 seats • Liberation and Construction Front: 4.5% 2 seats • State of Law: 3.5% - 1 seat • Iraqi Constitutional Party: 3.2% - 1 seat • Al-Mehrab Martyr List: 2.9% - 1 seat • al-Hal - National Movement for Reform and Development: 2.6% - 1 seat

Muthanna Governorate
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • State of Law: 10.9% - 4 seats out of 26 Al-Mehrab Martyr List: 9.3% - 4 seats Al-Jumhoor List: 7.1% - 3 seats National Reform Movement: 6.3% - 3 seats Independent Free Movement: 5.5% - 2 seats Independent National List: 5.0% - 2 seats The Gathering for Muthanna: 4.9% - 2 seats Independent Iraqi Skills Gathering: 4.4% 2 seats Middle Euphrates Gathering: 3.9% - 1 seat Fadhila: 3.7% - 1 seat Iraqi National List: 3.5% - 1 seat Al-Wafaa / Loyalty Movement for Muthanna: 3.1% - 1 seat Iraqi National Conference: 3.0% - 1 seat National Council of the Tribal Leaders and Prominent Figures of Iraq: 2.5% Social Support Gathering: 2.2% Independent Solidarity Bloc: 2.1%

Wassit Governorate
• State of Law: 15.3% - 8 seats out of 28 • Al-Mehrab Martyr List: 10.0% - 5 seats • Independent Free Movement: 6.0% - 3 seats • Iraqi National List: 4.6% - 2 seats • Iraqi Constitutional Party: 3.9% - 2 seats • National Reform Movement: 3.2% - 1 seat • Independent Gathering in Wassit: 3.0% - 1 seat • Fadhila: 2.7% - 1 seat • Independent Gathering for the Tribal Leaders and Prominent Figures of Wassit Governorate: 2.6% - 1 seat • Al-Khayr Independent List: 2.5% - 1 seat

Najaf Governorate
• State of Law: 16.2% - 7 seats out of 28 • Al-Mehrab Martyr List: 14.8% - 7 seats • Independent Free Movement: 12.2% - 5 seats • al-Wafaa / Loyalty for Najaf: 8.3% - 4 seats • National Reform Movement: 7.0% - 3 seats • Independent Najaf Union: 3.7% - 2 seats • Independent Tribes and Sons of Najaf: 2.6% • Independent National Figures: 2.4% • Khaymat Al-Mustaqilleen (Independents’ Tent): 2.3% • 1991 Intifadha Trend for Sha’abaniya People: 2.1% • Independent Reform Gathering: 1.9% • Iraqi National List: 1.8%

After the elections, the National Reform Trend said it has formed an agreement with the State of Law Coalition to ally in all provinces where they had won seats. [55]

Ninawa Governorate
• Al-Hadbaa National List: 48.4% - 19 seats out of 34 • Brotherhood Ninawa: 25.5% - 12 seats • Islamic Party: 6.7% - 3 seats • Isthar Patrioitic List - 1 seat

[1] meast/09/24/Iraq.main/ [2] 7718687.stm


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Iraqi governorate elections, 2009

[3] ^ From bullets to ballot box – Iraq’s [24] violence-free election, The Scotsman, africa/25iraq.php 2009-01-22 [25] Iraqi parliament again puts off election [4] Iraqi local election law rejected, BBC, vote, Reuters, 2008-08-05, accessed on 2008-02-27, accessed on 2008-07-27 2008-08-05 [5] Sadr anger over Iraq law setback, BBC, [26] Iraq MPs still at odds over provincial 2008-02-28, accessed on 2008-07-27 elections law, Middle East Times, [6] Iraqi Council Ends Objection to Election 2008-08-06, accessed on 2008-08-06 Law, New York Times, 2008-03-20, [27] Thousands of Iraqi Christians protest accessed on 2008-03-23 country’s new provincial law, Monsters [7] Iraq election panel proposes delay in and critics, 2008-09-28 holding provincial voting, International [28] Christians call for representation in Iraq, Herald Tribune, 2008-07-20, accessed on Middle East Times, 2008-09-30 2008-07-20 [29] Al-Maliki backs legislative seats for [8] ^ Iraq elections law passes, but vote religious minorities in Iraq, Associated date in doubt, CNN, 2008-07-22, Press, 2008-09-29 accessed on 2008-07-22 [30] Iraq election law marks progress, opens [9] ^ Iraq’s presidency council vetoes political season, Christian Science provincial election bill, People’s Daily, Monitor, 2008-09-26 2008-07-24, accessed on 2008-07-27 [31] Sadrist leader: Iraq’s unity threatened by [10] SIIC head, Badr Organization discuss lack of minority quota, Monsters and elections law, Aswat al-iraq, 2008-07-28, Critics, 2008-09-30 accessed on 2007-07-28 [32] [11] 7649196.stm Iraqs_Presidency_Approves_Provincial_Elections_Law/parliament approves amendment [33] Iraqi 1293754.html for provincial election law, Xinhua, [12] 2008-11-03 90777/90854/6511083.html [34] Changes in Iraq Election Law Weaken [13] ^ Quota for Women, New York Times, 7706781.stm 2009-01-13 [14] Kurds Protest Iraqi Election Law, New [35] not so open, abu muqawama, 2008-09-25 York Times, 2008-07-16, accessed on [36] Iraqi cabinet seeks to ban militias from 2008-07-20 elections, Reuters, 2008-04-13, accessed [15] Iraqi Parliament calls session on Kirkuk on 2008-04-14 International Herald Tribune [37] ^ Hopes surge with Iraq ballot, The [16] AFP: Iraqi parliament delays meeting on Australian, 2009-02-07 key voting law [38] ^ Poll candidates killed in Iraq , Al [17] Iraqis see compromise on Kirkuk Jazeera, 2009-01-30 standoff - International Herald Tribune [39] Renewed Civil War In Iraq?, CBS, [18] Parliament session on election law 2008-10-01 adjourned as dispute continues over [40] Fractures in Iraq City as Kurds and Kirkuk_English_Xinhua Baghdad Vie, New York Times, [19] ^ Iraqi Parliament fails to agree on 2008-10-27 elections law, International herald [41] Election friction flares in Iraq’s violent Tribune, 2008-08-06, accessed on north, Reuters, 2009-01-02 2008-08-06 [42] Iraq’s local elections could reshape [20] power structure, Reuters, 2008-04-10, world/middleeast/ accessed on 2008-04-14 10iraq.html?ref=middleeast [43] Iraq’s Prime Minster, President in public [21] quarrel, Tehran Times, 2008-11-24 90777/90854/6497236.html [44] Inside Iraqi politics – Part 5. A look at [22] legislative progress: Sunnis’ and states’ Iraq_Passes_Poll_Law_Vote_Urged_Before_Jan_31/ rights, Long War Journal, 2008-02-28 1291232.html [45] Sadr launches his election campaign, [23] Time Magazine, 2008-06-14, accessed on 7633557.stm 2008-12-02


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[46] The Sadrist Parliamentary Bloc Confirms Its Support of Two Electoral Lists, Historiae, 2009-01-11 [47] Iraq religious parties may face election backlash, Reuters, 2009-01-22 [48] Autonomy Referendum For Iraq’s South Struck Down, Radio Liberty, 2009-01-20 [49] Al-Maliki allies ahead in Iraq vote, Al Jazeera, 2009-02-04 [50] Iraqi Shiite party denies setback in regional vote, International Herald Tribune, 2009-02-02 [51] Turnout_Over_50_Percent_For_Iraqi_Poll/ 1377482.html

Iraqi governorate elections, 2009
[52] detail.aspx?id=84410&sectionid=351020201 [53] press_releases.aspx#525 [54] 02/05/iraqi_election_results_are_in/d9a6/ [55] Fayadh declares plan to ally with SLC, National Iraqi News Agency, 2009-03-04

External links
• Provisional results showing lists, list numbers and percentages

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