Iraq: The prospect of elections amid a new descent into turmoil

Iraqis are heading to the polls for the first time since US troops left the country, amid deepening political polarisation and increasing levels of sectarian violence. Dr Anas Altikriti, Hayder al-Khoei and Mina Al-Oraibi will discuss the upcoming parliamentary elections and their significance in the face of renewed challenges for Iraq.


Dr Anas Altikriti, CEO, The Cordoba Foundation

Hayder al-Khoei, Associate Fellow, Chatham House

Mina Al-Oraibi, Assistant Editor in Chief, Asharq Alawsat newspaper


Chaired by

Julien Barnes-Dacey, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

On 30 April Iraqis will head to the polls for the first parliamentary elections since US troops left the country at the end of 2011, with Nouri al-Maliki looking to secure a third term in office as Prime Minister. The election comes against the backdrop of deepening political polarisation and widening insurgency in Anbar province, fuelled in part by the conflict in neighbouring Syria. Levels of sectarian violence now stand at their highest since 2008. This discussion will consider the renewed perils facing the country and the significance of these elections, as well as the strategies being pursued by al-Maliki to maintain his grip on power. 

Dr Anas Altikriti is the founder and CEO of Tthe Cordoba Foudation. He was born in Iraq in 1968 and has a PhD in Political Studies from Westminster University. 

Hayder al-Khoei is an Associate Fellow at the Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House. He is also a doctoral student at the London School of Economics, researching US foreign policy and post war ethno-sectarian politics in Iraq. 

Mina Al-Oraibi is the Assistant Editor in Chief of Asharq Alawat, the international pan-Arab daily newspaper. She assumed this position in November 2011, having completed an assignment as Washington DC Bureau Chief. 

Julien Barnes-Dacey is a Senior Policy Fellow at the Middle East and North Africa programme at ECFR.