Daily Archives: January 31, 2009

Iraq Provincial 2009

Elections are being held in 14 of Iraq’s 18 governorates (or provinces) today, the first election since 2005. There is no election in the three governorates of Iraqi Kurdistan (Arbil, Dahuk, As Sulaymaniyah) and in Kirkuk governorate, where a referendum on the governorates’ status keeps getting postponed and postponed.

Elections are by open party list, with a quota for women and minorities (3 Christians, 1 each for Yazidis, Mandean, and Shabak). The Sunni parties, which boycotted the past election in 2005, are running this time and should drastically increase turnout in the Sunni areas (Al-Anbar, Salah ad Din), which are currently ruled by Shia and Kurdish governments which lack popular support. Turnout was something like 2% in Al-Anbar in 2005.

The election in Shia areas is to be fought between current PM Nouri-al-Maliki’s Islamic Dawa Party (Shia conservatives, favouring a centralized Iraq) and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (pro-Iran Islamists, favouring a federal Iraq with a huge Shia region), both government parties. The opposition Sadrists (those allowed to run) is also expected to provide competition, as is Iyad Allawi’s secular grouping. Al-Maliki’s Dawa is said to be favoured, and Allawi’s bloc could do well. Other say Islamist parties, sich as the SIIC, will do poorly.

In Sunni areas, the election is between the government Iraqi Accord Front (a broad coalition of Sunnis) and the tribal Awakening militias (formed to fight Al-Qaeda).

In total, around 400 parties (over 14,000 candidates) are contesting a total of 440 seats. Results are expected to take quite some time to come in.

Bolivia Referendums 2009

Two referendums were held in Bolivia last Sunday, and the CNE has counted around 99.98% of the votes, so here are the results. Turnout was around 90% with the CNE reporting that 3,511,493 voters cast a ballot.

The first referendum was on Morales’ new pro-indigenous constitution

Yes 61.43%
No 38.57%

The second referendum limits the legal size of private property to 5,000 hectares instead of 10,000 hectares.

5k 80.65%
10k 19.35%

Here is a map of the first referendum, to show the clear division between the east and west in Bolivian politics.


The constitution passed overwhelmingly in the mountainous indigenous and poorer regions of western Bolivia, the traditional stronghold of Evo Morales and his party, MAS. Western Bolivia’s economy is heavily dependent on mining. In the mestizo-majority east, flatter and wealthier, the constitution was heavily defeated. The east accounts for about 42% of Bolivia’s GDP and is generally the stronghold of Bolivia’s right-wing (it voted for Quiroga in 2005 against Morales and the right-wing PODEMOS does best here).

El Salvador 2009: Really final

Here are the full results for all 84 seats in El Salvador. Results for a few seats were withheld because a new vote had to be held in a municipality.

FMLN winning 35 seats (+1)
ARENA winning 32 seats (-2)
National Conciliation Party winning 11 seats (+1)
Christian Democratic winning 5 seats (-1)
Democratic Change winning 1 seat (-1)