BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Seventy-five political parties, nine coalitions and 27 independent candidates are contesting the 275 seats in Iraq's National Assembly. Following are basic facts about some major parties and coalitions.
UNITED IRAQI ALLIANCE
combines parties mostly from Iraq's Shiite majority with the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Islamic Dawa Party in Iraq as two pillars.
Supported by Iraq's top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, it is widely expected to get the lion's share in the elections. It fields 228 candidates, most of them Shiite Muslims. Several Turkmen parties such as the Turkmen Islamic Union and several secular parties such as the Iraqi National Congress also joined the alliance.
Its prominent candidates include Ahmad Chalabi, Hussain al-Shahristani, Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim and Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
groups the secular Iraqi National Accord led by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and five other secular parties and one independent.
KURDISH ALLIANCE LIST
represents Kurdish interests. With the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party being the major players and nine other Kurdish parties as junior partners, it works on a platform for Kurdish autonomy within a federal Iraq. Its prominent candidates are Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani.
PATRIOTIC RAFIDAIN PARTY
is an alliance formed by two Christian parties -- the Assyrian Democratic Movement and the Chaldean National Council.
IRAQI ISLAMIC PARTY
is the main Sunni political party in Iraq. It first fielded 275candidates but latter announced to boycott the race, saying democracy is not guaranteed under poor security.
is the party of interim President Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawar.
IRAQI COMMUNIST PARTY
is a secular party which drew support from urban Shiites and Kurds. Enditem