I once wrote about protest movements that had erupted in Iraq towards the end of July 2015, which had spread to several governorates including the capital Baghdad. Historically and politically, these were comparable to Al-Wathbah uprising in January in 1948 and to the November 1952 Intifada, which are considered the most important protest movements in Iraq’s modern history as they sought to restore freedoms and national sovereignty and independence.
The recent Iraqi parliamentary elections were not like their antecedents — including the first elections after Saddam’s ouster in 2005. This time, the large blocs formed on sectarian (Shiite-Sunni) and nationalist (Arab-Kurdish) lines dissolved. The newly elected House of Representatives will consist of a larger number of coalitions that will have lesser weight. It’s unlikely that the most important Shiite bloc (the National Iraqi Alliance) will emerge again given its recent dissensions.
The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) of Iraq has faced accusations for not being independent enough, just like most other “indolent” institutions of the state.
“Do we have a state in the first place?” I concluded a column earlier this week with this question that has been asked for 15 years, and it seems it is going to be asked for perhaps another 15 years. Political Islam groups have governed Iraq for all this time and despite their failure, they’ve been clinging on to authority.