Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has won a third term for the presidency of his Islamic Dawa Party in an election that was attended by a number of Iraqi political leaders but in which most media were absent. That election was the start of Maliki’s battle to renew his mandate as Iraqi prime minister, also for the third time.
The Dawa Party is one of the oldest religious parties in Iraq. It was founded in the mid-1950s and was inspired by the ideas of prominent Shiite cleric Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr. But since that time, the party has suffered a series of splits over its goals, leadership or relationships inside and outside Iraq during the era when it opposed Saddam Hussein’s regime. The party regained its presence on the Iraqi scene in 2003 and has held the prime minister’s post since 2005.