Alliance Towards Reforms

The Alliance Towards Reforms or Marching Towards Reform (Arabic: تحالف سائرون للإصلاح), also known by its Arabic short form Saairun (Arabic: سائرون, Saairun, lit.'Forward'[11]), was an Iraqi electoral coalition formed to gain political control in the 2018 general election. The main components were the Shi’a Islamist Sadrist Integrity Party, the leftist Iraqi Communist Party,[12] the Youth Movement for Change Party, the Party of Progress and Reform and the Iraqi Republican Group and the State of Justice Party.[13][14] The alliance won 54 seats, more than any other coalition in the election.

Alliance Towards Reforms
تحالف سائرون للإصلاح
LeaderHassan al-Aquli[1][2][3] (Political leader)
Muqtada al-Sadr (Spiritual leader)
Founded25 January 2018[4]
Dissolved24 July 2021[5]
IdeologyIraqi nationalism[6]
Social democracy[8]
Syncretic politics[9]
Shi'a political thought[10]
Political positionBig tent
Colors  Dark cyan
Council of Representatives
0 / 329
Seats in the Governorate Councils
0 / 440
0 / 18

In the previous election, the Sadrists (a Shia movement emerging in the 1990s to oppose President Saddam Hussein) had run as the Al-Ahrar Bloc and won 34 seats.[15] They initially supported the al Abadi government, with Baha al-Araji serving as one of the Deputy Prime Ministers.[16] However, they later withdrew this stance, organizing protests against government corruption and sectarianism. On 30 April 2016, supporters of the Alliance Towards Reforms occupied the Council of Representatives in protest.[17]

The coalition effectively ended when the Iraqi Communist Party decided to boycott the 2021 general election.[5]

Opposition Edit

During a visit to Iran three months before the election, senior Iranian politician Ali Akbar Velayati declared: "We will not allow liberals and communists to govern Iraq," in reference to the Alliance. This comment was criticized by Iraqi secular MP's as interference in the internal affairs of Iraq.[18]

2018 elections Edit

The 2018 elections saw significant gains for the Alliance Towards Reforms. They won 17 seats in Baghdad, 6 seats in Dhi Qar, 5 in Maysan and Basra, 4 in Najaf and Babil, 3 in Karbala, Qadissiya and Wasit, and 2 seats in Muthanna and Diyala.[19] A communist woman representing the Alliance, Suhad al-Khateeb, was elected in the 2018 elections to represent the city of Najaf which was deemed to be one of the most religious and conservative cities in Iraq. Khateeb, who is a teacher and an anti-poverty and women's rights activist, said upon her victory: "We, the Communist party, have a long history of honesty - we were not agents for foreign occupations. We want social justice, citizenship, and are against sectarianism. This is also what Iraqis want."[20]

Election results Edit

Election year Votes % Seats +/– Government
2018 1,500,862 (#1)
54 / 329
 54 Coalition Partner

References Edit

  1. ^ shooq. "كلمة د.حسن العاقولي رئيس تحالف "سائرون"".
  2. ^ ""سائرون": يصعب التوصل لتقاربات سياسية مع التحالفات الأخرى لخوض الانتخابات". 21 January 2018.
  3. ^ "لقاء خاص مع رئيس تحالف سائرون د. حسن العاقولي". Archived from the original on 29 May 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  4. ^ shooq. "إعلان تحالف "سائرون" لخوض الانتخابات البرلمانية والمحلية".
  5. ^ a b "Statement of the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party: No Participation in Elections that is not Gateway to Desired Change" (PDF).
  6. ^ a b Cambanis, Thanassis (11 May 2018). "Opinion - Can a Shiite Cleric Pull Iraq Out of the Sectarian Trap?". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Sadr calls for technocratic government in pun-heavy tweet".
  8. ^ "Sadr willing to ally with Iraqi blocs to form technocratic government". 15 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Interview with the Iraqi Communist Party". 18 July 2003.
  10. ^ "The Sadrist–Communist Alliance: Implications for Iraq's Secular Politics". 6 June 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Who Is Moqtada al-Sadr? The Cleric Who Attacked U.S. Troops and Is Iraq's Likely Next PM". Reuters. 15 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr bloc wins Iraq elections". BBC News. 18 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Meet Iraq's plentiful parliamentary alliances". Shafaq News. 26 January 2018. Archived from the original on 19 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  14. ^ "The Sadrist–Communist Alliance: Implications for Iraq's Secular Politics". Middle East Centre. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  15. ^ See 2014 Iraqi parliamentary election for further details.
  16. ^ "EIFA - A look at the new Iraqi Cabinet". 10 September 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Shia protesters storm Iraq parliament". BBC News. 30 April 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  18. ^ Mamouri, Ali (26 February 2018). "Iranian interference in Iraqi election stirs anger among Iraqis". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  19. ^ "Alliance of Shiites and communists in Iraq". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  20. ^ "First female Communist elected in Iraq's holiest city calls for 'social justice'". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 19 May 2018.