ANALYSIS: Iraq parliamentary election paves way for new faces on political scene
Iraq's one-party rule collapsed in April 2003; a rule that was inherited by a political class that ran the country under the name of democracy.
Since then, the names that have been dominating the country's political scene have remained stagnant.
Arab Shiites took power through the Dawa Political Party after securing an understanding with two Kurdish leaders, Massoud al-Barazani and Jalal Talabani, who supported the Iraqi opposition with the absence of Sunni leaders.
The scene soon changed due to conflict of interests between the different political spectrums and the absence of the architects of Iraqi politics, such as Jalal Talabani and Ahmed Chalabi.
Now, as polls open on Saturday across Iraq in the first national election since the declaration of victory over ISIS, a number of Iraqi figures are expected to leave the political scene, most notably:
- Foreign Minister and ex-Prime Minister of Iraq in 2005, Ibrahim al-Jaafari
- President Fouad Massum, the most prominent Kurdish leader in Sulaymaniya
- Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani, the godfather of Kurdish politics
- Former oil minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the most prominent Shiite politicians
- Hussein al-Shahristani, a Shiite politician who held various ministerial portfolio
- Saleh al-Mutlaq, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq in the era of Nouri al-Maliki
- Faleh al-Fayadh is head of the Popular Mobilization Militia and he also served as advisor to the National Security Council
- Baqir Jabr al-Zubaidi, former Minister of Transport and leader of the Supreme Council.
These withdrawals are expected to open the door to the formation of a new political class in Iraq.
Entrenched corruption, the influence of Iran and the future of US forces currently in Iraq are other issues that have dominated the run-up to the election. There are 329 seats at stake, with nearly 7,000 candidates from dozens of different political alliances.