Ahead Of Iraqi Elections, Hizbullah Brigades Secretary-General Urges Shi'ites To Go To The Polls En Masse And Vote For Pro-PMU Shi'ite Candidates

October 8, 2021

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

Ahead of the Iraqi parliamentary elections, slated for on October 10, 2021, Abu Husayn Al-Hamidawi, the secretary-general of the Hizbullah Brigades, issued a statement calling on Shi'ites to go to the polls en masse. Without naming specific candidates or parties, he urged them to vote for Shi'ite candidates who support the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU). It should be mentioned that, for the first time, one of the parties running in these elections is headed  by a former Hizbullah Brigades official, Husayn Mu'nis.  Although he has tried to distinguish his party from the PMU, its participation in the elections is perceived as an attempt by the PMU to enter the parliamentary arena.[1]

This announcement by Al-Hamidawi, who issues few statements,[2] indicates the importance he ascribes to these elections and perhaps also his concern over a possible weakening of the parties that support the resistance axis, to which he belongs. His statement is part of intense efforts by many heads of the Shi'ite militias to ensure a high turnout of Shi'ites voters, including efforts by Qais Al-Khaz'ali,  secretary-general of 'Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq, and Hadi Al-Amiri, head of the Badr Movement and chair of the Al-Fatah Alliance, which is running in the elections.  'Ali Sistani, the top religious leader of Iraq's Shi'ites, likewise encouraged his followers to go to the polls, while stressing that he does not support any specific candidate. [3]   

The following are translated excerpts from Al-Hamidawi's statement.[4]

"Our country is experiencing sensitive times and great challenges, which indicate that we are at war with the entire axis of evil. [This axis] has prepared for these elections, so as to usurp our people's will, distort it and keep the right people from fulfilling their role in defending the country's security and sovereignty, and its holy places.

"The parliamentary elections, in which the representatives of the people will be selected, are without a doubt the first step towards forming a new government that will represent the Iraqis' will and  assume the responsibility of implementing their demands and aspirations for a dignified life and for defending [Iraq's] honor and sovereignty. [The elections also] enable to form the front of truth, which we must [all] support and strengthen, so that it will have an active presence in the legislative and executive spheres. Consequently, it is our religious and moral responsibility to vote for the right figures, brave, virtuous and competent ones who belong to the school of [the Prophet's grandson] Imam Husayn [i.e., Shi'ite figures], the school of sacrifice and courage, so that they can help the people and support the resistance and the PMU.     

"The present parliamentary elections are the most important ones held so far. We must raise the turnout, to avoid leaving a vacuum that will be exploited by opportunists who act day and night, overtly and covertly, to take over the resources of the state and the people in order to realize their sick dreams.

"Oh [Shi'ite] Iraqis, sons of [the founders of the Shi'a,] 'Ali and Husayn! Come [to the polls] en masse, so as to win this campaign and attain a new victory that will gladden the hearts of our martyrs and uphold [the honor of] their pure blood and their sacrifice…"



[2] In fact, he has until now issued only one statement, on January 3, 2021, the first anniversary of the assassination of Iranian Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani and PMU deputy commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, in which he promised not to attack the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. See MEMRI JTTM report, Secretary-General Of The Hizbullah Brigades We Won't Storm The U.S. Embassy Today; Revenge For The Assassinations Of Soleimani And Al-Muhandis Should Be Sped Up, January 3, 2021.

[3] Sistani.org, September 29, 2021.

[4] Telegram, October 7, 2021.


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