will iraqi pm’s opponents play post-sectarian politics - just to get rid of him?

Post-elections, it seems that almost every politician – outside of those in the Iraqi PM’s party – is united in one aim: Keeping the Iraqi PM out of power. That desire crosses both sectarian and ethnic lines. And those with that desire have a majority of seats. But can they overcome their differences to form a ‘grand alliance’? And even if they do, who can replace the well entrenched PM? by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

ladies’ first: iraq’s first women-only council formed in kurdish village

A small village in Dohuk province has decided to create a women’s council. The council members say it’s a first for Iraq and the villagers in Barchi hope it could become an example that will support women’s rights right around the country. However, as the feminist council’s critics say, the council will face a lot of challenges, and not least from sticklers for tradition. by Abdul-Khaleq Dosky in Dohuk more

all talk, no action: iraqi kurdistan’s new freedom of information law toothless

Iraqi Kurdistan has a new freedom of information law. Despite being lauded by all local political parties, the law is almost a year old and has barely been used. At a recent meeting, journalists blamed politicians for wording the law in an imprecise way while MPs said the journalists were at fault. by Special Correspondent in Erbil more

small win, big success: iraq’s civil democratic alliance celebrates four new MPs

The coalition of civil society-minded, secular parties competing together as the Civil Democratic Alliance only won four seats in Iraq’s general elections. Nonetheless their supporters and their newly-minted MPs see the outcome as a successful result of their new election policy. by Ibrahim Saleh in Baghdad more

let the post election horse trading begin: iraqi politicians playing the long game

The current Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, and his bloc won the largest number of votes in the recent general election. However it is unlikely to be enough to form a government. Along with economic issues and ongoing violence in Anbar, Iraq is now facing a political crisis that could go on for months. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

playing dress ups: baghdad students start halloween trend, don costumes at graduation

In Iraq, locals don\'t celebrate Halloween. But in the big city, Baghdad, Iraqi students have started a fashion for dressing up, making graduation an opportunity to don an unusual costume. And what is an once-in-a-lifetime chance to dress up for those who can afford it, has become a lucrative business opportunity for others. by Ahmad al-Rubaie in Baghdad more

election day conspiracy theories: sunnis in iraqi kurdistan say deliberate plan prevented them from voting

Last week on election day, thousands of voters originally from outside Iraqi Kurdistan were told they could not vote. The reason? Logistics - wrong ID cards, wrong locations, wrong dates. But the voters say it was part of a conspiracy to stop them casting their ballots against the incumbent, PM Nouri al-Maliki. by Christine van den Toorn in Sulaymaniyah more

ethnic barriers: security trench between erbil and kirkuk inflames tensions

Authorities in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil are extending a security trench and digging an even bigger moat between themselves and troubled Kirkuk. But politicians in Kirkuk say the move is more than defensive, it’s also about isolating Kurdish opposition parties and inflaming ethnic tensions. by Shalaw Mohammed in Kirkuk more

ninawa’s planned oil refinery moves sunni-led region even further from baghdad

The northern Sunni-led region of Ninawa has been planning its own oil refinery for some time now. And last month the foundations were laid. Some say the refinery means that Ninawa is flouting the wishes of the government in Baghdad, planning independence and most controversially, joining forces with Iraqi Kurdistan. by Nawzat Shamdeen in Mosul more

keep your enemies closer: iraqi pm’s secret weapon for power despite election losses

The official results of Iraq’s general elections are unknown as yet. But current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will not be winning a majority – and his opponents are lining up to keep him out of power. Analysis suggests that al-Maliki, a Shiite Muslim politician, will now try to round up a handful of independent Sunni Muslim MPs for support - despite the fact that the country’s Sunni Muslims are up in arms against him. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more
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