By Ibrahim Salih
Twenty-seven electoral coalitions have been approved to run in Iraq’s parliamentary election this year, the country’s electoral commission said.
In a statement on Tuesday, commission chief Riyad al-Badran said a total of 143 political parties run under these alliances.
“Parties that have not joined electoral coalitions can run for the polls individually,” he said.
Al-Badran called on parties and coalitions to submit their lists of candidates to the election commission by Feb. 2.
Iraq’s local and parliamentary elections are scheduled for May 12, a few months after Iraqi forces managed to dislodge the Daesh terrorist group from the country’s north and south.
Electoral coalitions in Iraq are often formed based on sectarian and ethnic lines.
Notably, this year’s election will see current Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and former premier Nouri al-Maliki leading two separate electoral coalitions though they are members of the same political party; Dawa party.
In Sunni areas in northern and western Iraq, an electoral coalition led by Vice-President Eyad Allawi and Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri will vie against an alliance headed by former vice president Usama al-Nujaifi.
And in the semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and