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Guide to Iraqi political parties

The BBC News website looks at where Iraqi political parties stand after the results from the December general elections.

UNITED IRAQI ALLIANCE

The United Iraqi Alliance is a broad-based coalition of over 20 groups, but it is dominated by the two major Shia parties, Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari's Islamic Daawa Party, and Abd al-Aziz Hakim's Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).

UNITED IRAQI ALLIANCE
Ibrahim al-Jaafari (L) and Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim
Al-Sadr Bloc
Al-Shabak Democratic Grouping
Badr Organisation
Centre Grouping Party
Community of Justice
Hezbollah Movement in Iraq
Iraqi Democrats Movement
Islamic Daawa Party
Islamic Daawa Party - Iraq Organisation
Islamic Master of the Martyrs Movement
Islamic Union for Iraqi Turkomans
Islamic Virtue Party
Justice and Equality Grouping
Malhan Al Mukatir
Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq
The Free of Iraq
Turkoman Loyalty Movement

The UIA won 128 out of 275 seats in Iraq's new parliament, the Council of Representatives, in the 15 December elections, 10 seats short of a majority.

The alliance formed a coalition government for the Transitional Period after it won a narrow majority of 140 seats in the election last January.

For December's poll, the UIA was joined by parties supporting radical Shia cleric Muqtada Sadr.

The alliance's platform called for national unity, the enforcement of the new constitution, the end of the US-led coalition's presence, the de-politicisation of government institutions, and the formation of regional governments.

The bloc appears to have again capitalised on support from Iraq's Shia majority, but its success may have been tempered by the decision of Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq's most revered cleric, not to give the alliance his explicit support.

The group was also criticised for poor performance in government.

KURDISTAN ALLIANCE

The Kurdistan Alliance (KA) brings together the two dominant Kurdish parties, Massoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

KURDISTAN ALLIANCE
Massoud Barzani (L) and Jalal Talabani
Chaldean Democratic Union Party
Kurdistan Communist Party
Kurdistan Democratic Party
Kurdistan Islamic Group / Iraq
Kurdistan Labour Party
Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
Turkoman Brotherhood Party / Iraq

The KA is the second largest bloc in the Council of Representatives, with 53 seats, and is again likely to form a coalition government with the UIA.

The KDP and PUK's joint list also dominates the Kurdish parliament.

The alliance seeks to represent and advance Kurdish interests in the Iraqi parliament and campaigns under the slogan: "Our votes, our future".

It wants freedom, democracy, and further political and constitutional gains for all Iraqi citizens irrespective of their ethnic, political, or religious affiliations.

The KA was hit by the withdrawal of the Kurdistan Islamic Union, which complained about the KDP and PUK's dominance of Kurdish political life.

Though the Kurdistan Islamic Union won 5 seats in the new parliament, the KA retained the majority of its share of the vote in Kurdistan.

It faced more of a challenge in the more ethnically-mixed provinces where Sunni Arabs voted in increased numbers compared to January.

IRAQI NATIONAL LIST

The Iraqi National List is a secular nationalist alliance made up of Sunnis and Shias led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

IRAQI NATIONAL LIST
Iyad Allawi
Arab Socialist Movement
Central Euphrates Grouping
Democratic al-Qasimi Grouping
Independent Iraqi Association
Independent Iraqi Sheikhs Council
Iraqi Communist Party
Iraqi Independent Democrats Grouping
Iraqi National Accord Movement
Iraqi Republican Grouping
Iraqiyun (Iraqis)
League of Iraqi Turkoman Tribes and Notables
Loyalty to Iraq Grouping
National List
The Free Unity Party

Mr Allawi's party, the Iraqi National Accord Movement, is joined by Hamid Musa's Iraqi Communist Party, the Iraqiyun party of former President Ghazi al-Yawer and National Assembly Speaker Hajim al-Hassani, and veteran politician Adnan al-Pachachi's Independent Democrats Grouping.

The list claims to "represent all of Iraq and not just one party".

It wants to build a democratic, secular and modern Iraq, with strong security forces and good relations with its neighbours.

During the election campaign, Mr Allawi emphasised his track record as interim prime minister.

In contrast to the ineffective UIA-KA coalition government, he said, the Iraqi National List would "make a decision and implement it".

But, despite a slick advertising campaign and support from the US, Mr Allawi's alliance performed badly.

The Iraqi National List won just 25 seats in parliament, less than half the seats its constituent parties had before the vote.

IRAQI NATIONAL CONGRESS LIST

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress stood as part of the UIA for the January 2005 elections.

IRAQI NATIONAL CONGRESS LIST
Ahmed Chalabi
Democratic Iraqi Grouping
Democratic Joint Action Front
First Democratic National Party
Independent List
Iraqi Constitutional Movement
Iraqi Constitutional Party
Iraqi National Congress
Tariq Abd al-Karim Al Shahd al-Budairi
Turkoman Decision Party

However, the INC withdrew from the alliance in November 2005 because of disagreements over some parties' calls for the creation of an Islamic state in Iraq.

Mr Chalabi formed an alliance that advocates a democratic, pluralistic, federal government.

He says there is a need to broaden the political process and offer Iraqis new options.

In addition to Mr Chalabi's party, the Iraqi National Congress List includes Sherif Ali Bin al-Hussein's Constitutional Monarchy party and two ministers in the transitional government.

It also includes former senior UIA member, Sheikh Fawaz al-Jarba.

But the INC's manifesto and Mr Chalabi's high profile did not tempt voters and surprisingly the bloc did not win a seat.

IRAQI ACCORD FRONT

The Iraqi Accord Front was founded by three Sunni parties: Mohsen Abd al-Hamid's Iraqi Islamic Party, the General Council for the People of Iraq led by senior Sunni cleric Adnan al-Dulaimi, and the Iraqi National Dialogue Council, a powerful bloc of Sunni parties headed by Khalaf al-Ulayyan. Nevertheless, the front has denied it is sectarian.

IRAQI ACCORD FRONT
Tarik al-Hashimi and Adnan al-Dulaimi announce the creation of the Iraqi Accord Front
Iraqi Islamic Party
General Council for the People of Iraq
Iraqi National Dialogue Council

The front called on Sunni Arabs to take part in December's poll and rejected a boycott. Sunni Arab parties largely boycotted last January's parliamentary elections.

The front has increased Sunni representation in a parliament previously dominated by Shia and Kurdish parties, winning 44 seats in December's election.

However, it contested the results in some provinces, especially Baghdad, after an unexpectedly poor showing.

The front has stressed the importance of ending the "occupation", boosting Iraq's national identity and setting up a committee to review the new constitution.

It also wants to repeal laws relating to de-Baathification and the dissolution of Iraq's armed forces.

IRAQI FRONT FOR NATIONAL DIALOGUE

Saleh al-Mutlak, the former chief Sunni Arab representative on the National Assembly's constitutional drafting committee, formed the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue with Fakhri al-Qaisi and Fahran al-Sudaid in September.

Saleh al-Mutlak
Mr Mutlak wants all sects and ethnic groups to set aside their differences

Mr Mutlak said the bloc had refused to join the Sunni-led Iraqi Accord Front because one of its main members, the Iraqi Islamic Party, had backed the new constitution.

Mr Mutlak had rejected the charter before October's referendum.

The Iraqi Front for National Dialogue says it is as a non-sectarian coalition that wants to end the presence of foreign troops and to rebuild government institutions.

It also plans to focus on Iraq's economic and security problems.

The front performed well in the election, winning 11 seats, but complained of widespread electoral fraud and called for a re-run of the poll.

International monitors reviewed their complaints, but said there was no need for a repeat of the ballot.

KURDISTAN ISLAMIC UNION

The Kurdistan Islamic Union, the largest Kurdish Islamist group, has a long record of providing welfare work and peaceful political campaigning.

Salah al-Din Muhammad Baha al-Din
Mr Baha al-Din has challenged the dominance of the KDP and PUK

The group has close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The KIU has been led by Salah al-Din Muhammad Baha al-Din since its founding conference in 1994.

Mr Baha al-Din served as a member of the Governing Council from July 2003 to June 2004.

The group withdrew from the Kurdistan Alliance shortly before the December election in protest at the dominance of the PUK and the KDP in Kurdish politics.

It won five seats in the Council of Representatives, making it the sixth-largest bloc.

RECONCILIATION AND LIBERATION BLOC

The Reconciliation and Liberation Bloc is led by Mishaan al-Juburi, the Sunni Arab head of the Homeland Party.

Mr Juburi received death threats for standing in recent elections, and has seen two party colleagues assassinated.

He was nominated by Sunni groups for the post of National Assembly speaker in March 2005, but was rejected by the UIA for his links with the Baath party before he fled Iraq in 1989.

The bloc wants to revoke the Coalition Provisional Authority's decision to disband the Iraqi army, police and intelligence services, and wants to bring back everyone from the previous Iraqi administration, except Saddam Hussein's close friends.

It believes that as long as the US-led coalition's occupation of Iraq, and its policies against Sunni Arabs persist, armed rebellion will not be halted.

The bloc won three seats in December's election.

OTHER COALITIONS

Al-Rafidayn (Mesopotamia) National Movement - led by Younadem Yusuf Kana

Democratic Society Movement - led by Hamid al-Kifai

Free Officers and Civilians Movement - led by Najib al-Salihi

Future Iraq Grouping - led by Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum

Iraqi National Peace List - led by Laith Kubba

Iraqi Nation List - led by Mithal al-Alusi

Iraq Pledge Coalition - led by Rand Rahim Francke

National Democratic Coalition - led by Abid Faisal al-Sahlani

Nationalists Grouping- led by Hatim Jasim Mukhlis

National House of Commons List - led by Khadr Abd al-Aziz Hasan al-Duri

Parliament of the Iraqi National Forces - led by Hazim Shaalan

Rally of Independent Iraq's Capabilities - led by Ali al-Dabbagh

Sun of Iraq List - led by Tawfiq al-Yasiri



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