Monday, 26 April 2010

Iraqi CP: Central Committee holds regular meeting

Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party
Holds its Regular Meeting

(23-24 April 2010)

The Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party held a regular meeting during the period 23-24 April 2010. The participants observed a minute of silence to commemorate the martyrs and comrades who passed away in the months since the previous meeting.

The meeting considered the situation in the country and developments in the period since the Central Committee’s last meeting in September 2009. Special attention was given to the recent parliamentary elections, including the build-up to the election campaign and its results, discussing the subsequent political situation and its prospects.

The meeting also considered the performance of the party and its leading bodies during the same period especially in relation to the electoral process. It endorsed decisions and measures to enhance the work of the party and its performance in various fields.

The meeting greeted the democratic forces and figures who participated in the elections, together with the party, in People’s Unity (“Ittihad Al-Shaab”) electoral list. It expressed its determination to continue joint efforts with them to strengthen the democratic current, mobilize its forces and increase its effectiveness, to enable it to play its essential role in the political process and building a democratic, federal and fully sovereign Iraq.

The Central Committee meeting expressed deep gratitude and appreciation to the dedicated efforts made by the party organizations, members and supporters in the course of the electoral process, to promote the People's Unity list, its national democratic programme, objectives and slogans, and in mobilizing popular support. It thanked the voters who gave their support to the People’s Unity list and its candidates in the various provinces.

The meeting pointed to the political importance of the decision of the judicial appeal panel in the Electoral Commission that ordered a manual recount of the votes cast in Baghdad province. It expressed hope that this process, which should begin soon, would rectify violations and culminate in the declaration of final results. The meeting called on all the political parties to put the interest of the country, under the present difficult circumstances, above any other interest, and to act positively and flexibly in order to expedite the formation of the new government.

A detailed communiqué on the meeting of the Central Committee and the outcome of its deliberations will be issued in the next few days.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Iraq elections: a tale of big money and ugly politics

Iraq elections: a tale of big money and ugly politics

by: Susan Webb

People's World

April 7 2010

Many Iraqis had hoped that the March 7 elections would advance a united national consensus to build a sovereign and democratic Iraq, free of foreign occupation.

But it appears that struggle has a ways to go.

In fact, the election campaign revived the sectarian polarization that fueled bloody

Announced results gave former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's slate a thin lead over the slate of current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. With Allawi's slate getting 91 seats to Maliki's 89 in the new 325-seat Parliament, both are far from being able to form a new government and will have to win support from others. That is expected to be a protracted process. The vote tallies continue to be disputed as well.

Allawi's slate included splinter groups from the former Sunni Islamic Accord, some tribal groups and former Baathists. Allawi, a secular Shiite and former Baathist, presented himself as representing all of Iraq's Sunni population, while using code language appealing to Baath supporters. (Sunnis make up about 20 percent of Iraq's population, Shiites about 60 percent, Kurds 20 percent, with other small religious/ethnic groups.) At the same time he campaigned as a secularist, appealing to the wide Iraqi disillusionment with religious-based parties, and he drew votes on this basis.

Maliki's slate, which campaigned on a secular platform and won big in last year's provincial elections, included his own Shiite Islamic Dawa party as well as other Shiites and a number of independent and Sunni figures and tribal leaders.

Some believe Allawi, who has a reputed history of CIA connections, is considered by at least some U.S. circles to be a more cooperative "partner" than Maliki. Maliki has struck an independent nationalist stance on issues related to the U.S. troop pullout and Iraq's oil. Some Iraqis see Allawi's slate as serving U.S. interest in countering Iran's influence in the area.

Coming in third with 70 seats was a Shiite Islamic slate that included the Islamic Supreme Council and cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's group. It is seen as having ties to Iran.

Fourth with 43 seats was the Kurdistan Alliance, which included the two historically dominant Kurdish parties and others including the Kurdistan Communist Party. A new independent Kurdish party, Change (Gorran), won 8 seats.

In the view of Salam Ali of the Iraqi Communist Party, the U.S. wants to ensure that whatever government emerges will be a "fragile balance that they can manipulate." While he thinks the U.S. prefers "somebody other than Maliki," Ali said, "they can influence all these blocs, including those close to Iran."

This election was conducted under a controversial law adopted with heavy pressure from the U.S. Its formula for awarding parliamentary seats, many warned, would disenfranchise smaller slates and further entrench existing dominant parties.

That is exactly what happened. The Iraqi Communist Party, which had 2 seats in Parliament and, with its coalition partners, held one of the largest campaign rallies in the country, drawing some 15,000 people, will have no seats in the new Parliament. Most other smaller slates also wound up with no seats.

The Kurdish Alliance and the Shiite Islamic slate are now key players in determining who will lead Iraqi's government.

Vast sums of money, on a scale never seen before in Iraq, much of it from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, played a major role in the election. All the big slates had their own satellite television stations which promoted their campaigns. One such station, Al Sharqiya, in effect a mouthpiece for Allawi, reportedly has Saudi funding, and another, Al-Arabiya, which also backed Allawi, is partly Saudi-owned.

The flow of cash funded a flood of giant campaign billboards. The disconnect between their glowing slogans and the reality of everyday life - electricity outages, joblessness, inadequate public services - infuriated many Iraqis.

Allawi benefited from a pre-election de-Baathification crisis.

Under a 2008 law adopted by Parliament, a de-Baathification commission disqualified about 500 among thousands of candidates due to alleged Baathist involvement. Maliki had re-integrated thousands of lower-level former Baathists into political and social life as part of the country's efforts to overcome past divisions. His Shiite Islamic rivals used the issue to attack him. To maintain his own Shiite base, Maliki strongly backed the Baathist disqualifications. Allawi, in turn, accused Maliki of seeking to marginalize Sunnis.

Ali of the Iraqi CP said the U.S. "interfered in a very blunt and open way," pressing to postpone resolution of the candidates' status until after the elections. The U.S. role "caused a lot of displeasure," Ali said.

The furor boosted voter turnout among Allawi's base.

One disillusioned Iraqi in the UK commented on a blog, "How many people could have been fed, clothed, housed, employed, or treated with all the money and effort that continues to go into this game of musical chairs ...?

Noting that President Obama hailed the elections as a big success, British political scientist Toby Dodge, writing in the UK Guardian, says, "The ramifications of the 7 March vote are still unfolding and are starting to look much less positive than Obama had hoped."

Ali said a priority is building a mass movement for electoral reform. The current law is "designed to suit the big blocs and perpetuate them in power," he said. "All of them say they are opposed to sectarianism. In reality, all of them have come to power through this system. The election law effectively maintains this system."

"Change," Ali said, "has to come from below."

Iraqi CP supports call for vote recount

People’s Unity electoral list demands
a recount of votes

Election results continue to impact the overall Iraqi political scene, especially after the announcement of [preliminary] election results, despite calls for a postponement and for a manual recount of the votes, wholly or partially, due to the existence of large-scale fraud and manipulation.

The Secretary of the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party, Hamid Majeed Mousa, stressed that the election results announced by the Higher Electoral Commission last Friday evening (26th March) are preliminary results, and the candidates still have an opportunity to present their objections.

This comes at a time when the deadline for the submission of appeals is Monday 29th March, according to the Electoral Commission.

In a statement to “Iraq Beituna Agency”, Mousa said that People’s Unity (“Ittihad Al-Shaab”) list has a lot of objections regarding the fairness and integrity of these elections,” asserting “our determination to present our point of view and objections of the list to the Electoral Commission and the Constitutional Court, and calling for a recount in many provinces.”

Mousa pointed out that “the parliamentary elections were marred by a lot of manipulation and lack of integrity in all its stages, which has been reflected negatively on the share of votes of many lists.”

For his part, Mufid al-Jazairy, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party, said: “The electoral process has witnessed many forms of manipulation and fraud,” and “totally lacked transparency”. He added that the election results “would have certainly changed if an end was put to this fraud.”
Al-Jazairy explained to “Voices of Iraq” news agency that “in every stage of the electoral process, especially in the stages of vote sorting and counting, and in entering data in computers, there were many types of manipulation”.

Raid Fahmi, member of the Political Bureau of the Party, held the Electoral Commission and the Electoral Law responsible for the negative repercussions that have occurred in the elections and the resulting injustice and violations of the rights of voters.
Fahmi told the Iraqi National News Agency that “the election law was totally unfair and we raised objections to it from the beginning. Under this law, votes belonging to our list were given to others.”
He added: “The Electoral Commission has contributed to the loss of our votes because of its incompetence, in addition to violations and fraud that took place on the polling day and afterwards. There was room for manipulation of the election results.”

Report published on Iraqi CP’s website on 27th March 2010

Monday, 5 April 2010

In Basra .. Iraqi CP celebrates 76th anniversary

Basra celebrates the 76th anniversary
of the Iraqi Communist Party

The provincial committee of the Iraqi Communist Party in Basra organized a celebration of the 76th anniversary on 2nd April 2010. The event held in Utbah bin Ghazwan meeting hall in central Basra, which was packed with party supporters. It was attended by delegations of political groups and a representative of the Governor of Basra.

An opening speech delivered by the Secretary of the Provincial Committee, comrade Abu Mohammed, recalled the heroic struggle of the party since its foundation by Comrade Fahad on 31st March 1934, and dealt with various aspects of party policy and the current political situation.

The expatriate poet Abdul Karim Kasid was warmly received by the audience when he read out his poem “The Beautiful Horse”. He was followed by two poets, Ahmed Jassim
and Mohammed Jassim Issa. The latter had suffered a lot under the repression of the Saddam’s dictatorship. Then came the turn of Basra’s veteran popular poet, Uncle Nasser, and the poet Mohammed Mozan. Several local party organizations were then presented with awards in appreciation of their work.

The programme included a number of songs dedicated to the 67th anniversary that were presented by the Basra Group for Folk Art. Traditional music and songs were also performed with the participation of the veteran singer Tariq al-Shibli.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Iraqi CP celebrates 76th anniversary in Baghdad

Iraqi Communist Party celebrates its 76th Anniversary
at mass gathering in Baghdad

The Iraqi Communist Party celebrated the 76th anniversary of its foundation (31st March 1934) at a mass gathering held in Baghdad on Friday 2 April 2010, in the presence of its secretary comrade Hamid Majeed Mousa and several members of its leadership.

Messages of greeting from the Iraqi president, Mr Jalal Talabani, and the president of the Kurdistan region, Mr Masoud Barzani, were read out. The speech of the party’s Central Committee was delivered by Dr Hassan Akif, member of its political bureau. A message of greeting was also delivered by Mr Mousa Faraj, an independent candidate of the democratic electoral slate “Ittihadd Al-Shaab” (People’s Unity), who is a former head of the Integrity Commission.

The audience, that packed out the Samiramis Cinema hall in central Baghdad, enjoyed a cultural programme with poems recited by Hamoud Qa’id and Raid al-Asadi. The mass gathering then enjoyed songs and traditional music performed by the March Group and Iraqi Maqam Ensemble, and the singers Sama, Nahla, Husam Ali and Karim al-Rassam.

Iraqi CP Website: