Iraq held historic democratic elections in January.
The elections occurred without reports of major violence. The sectarian parties made gains and ral-Sadr’s radical party was trounced.
This was a magnificent day for Iraq.
Tribal groups, known as Awakening Councils, had hoped to win power in Anbar, believing they were entitled because of their contribution to routing al-Qaida.
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Election officials have not released official figures from the balloting. Nevertheless, the Iraqi Islamic Party, a Sunni group that is part of the national government, said unofficial tallies showed it would retain control of the province.
Today, we finally hear the truth about the Anbar elections.
The Islamists lost… Big-time.
Nibraz Kazimi, Iraqi expert and blogger at the exceptional Talisman Gate, wrote about the final Anbar election results at The Hudson Institute today.
Nibraz reported on the devastating losses by the Islamist Parties in Anbar Province.
You won’t see this reported by the corrupt anti-Iraq media any time soon:
The results from Anbar were supposed to tell us whether tribes are to be a significant political player in Iraq’s future, and the answer is no. The traditional tribal forces had organized themselves within the ‘Tribes of Iraq List’ led by one of several contenders to the grand but ultimately hollow title of the ‘Prince of the Dulaim Tribe’, Ali Hatem al-Suleiman, in alliance with Hamid al-Hayis, a male nurse turned ferocious Al-Qaeda nemesis who had been the former director of the Iraqi National Congress’ office in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar. The Dulaim are by far the most populous tribe in the province. Yet this slate only got 4.5 percent of the vote.
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The other Anbar list that most analysts take to be ‘tribal’ is not very tribal at all. It is led by Ahmad Abu Risha, brother to slain Awakening Councils founder Sattar Abu Risha. Their tribe is very small in number, numbering a few hundred. But Ahmad had shied away from tribalism, and billed himself and his coalition as one of urbane businessmen and administrators. They won by 17.1 percent, the second highest vote earners. A rival list, of similar composition headed by the former deputy head of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, who also happens to be a tribal chief, managed to pull off a respectable 7.8 percent. In a sense, the ‘tribesman-turned-chic’ category was the second biggest winners of Anbar’s ballot.
The foremost winners were the neo-Ba’athists, whose best-performing lists took in 17.6 percent, 6.6 percent and 4.6 percent respectively. The next governor of Anbar will probably be picked from their ranks, and Abu Risha has already signaled that he is willing to join their coalition.
The biggest and most unexpected loser was the Iraqi Islamic Party that had trumpeted itself as the leader of Iraq’s Sunnis. Here in Iraq’s most homogenous Sunni province, they only received 15.9 percent— even so, they are being accused of ballot stuffing to get this paltry showing. (Note: The Islamic Party won a majority in the 2005 Anbar elections. They also claimed to be the most significant national force among Iraq’s Sunnis.)
This is a remarkable defeat for Islamist politics in Sunni provinces, notwithstanding all the accusations of corruption and complicity with the ‘occupation’ leveled against the IP. For example, a more militant and equally well-funded Islamist list that had vocally supported the insurgency squeaked by with only 3.2 percent of the vote, reflecting the fact that fundamentalists have lost their footing among Sunnis in a general sense.
Nibraz Kazimi also scolds Team Obama for ever even considering “Zany” General Anthony Zinni for the job of U.S. ambassador to Iraq.