I wrote a couple of articles that were published before the Iraqi election last week that detailed my reasons for not voting for certain parties. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, but there have been a few murmurs of discontent, and I have been asked why I am generalising to an entire slate when the open list system allows us to vote for individuals. The numbers released today will help me illustrate my argument.
In Baghdad, Dr Ibrahim al-Ja’afari has a total of 74,217 votes so far, trailing him is Baqir Solagh (formerly known as Bayan Jabr), with 50,807 votes. They have passed the threshold of around 35,845 votes required, and will have a seat in parliament. So what happens to the other 53,334 votes? They get given to those that have not passed the threshold, in order of performance. So, quite conceivably, Jafa’ari’s votes may be used to haul the next best performing candidates in the INA, Maha Mahdi (currently on 23,855) and Hakim al-Zamili (on 23,063) into parliament. The latter, ofcourse, is the very same person I have written about in my articles, the very same person who Dr Ja’afari himself implicated in kidnappings, murders, embezzlement and extortion.
This is precisely why I am against the entire slate and not only individual candidates.