Iraqi candidates

ABDEL-AZIZ AL-HAKIM

A Shiite cleric who heads the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. He opposed Saddam Hussein from exile in Iran before returning after last year’s U.S.-led invasion. He was a member of the dissolved Iraq Governing Council and is allied to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Hussein al-Sistani, the country’s top Shiite cleric, who was instrumental in setting up the 228-member electoral coalition known as the United Iraqi Alliance.

Al-Hakim heads the coalition list which is widely expected to dominate the polls.

IYAD ALWAI

Prime Minister of Iraq’s interim government, Alawi has a reputation of toughness in dealing with the multiple insurgencies that have gripped his nation.

A former Iraqi exile with a long history of dealings with the United States, including the CIA, he leads the Iraqi List coalition. It is unclear how much public support the former surgeon enjoys domestically.

The moderate Shiite Muslim is a former Baath Party member whose wealthy family was close to the royal family that ruled Iraq before Saddam Hussein took power.

IBRAHIM AL-JAAFARI

A Shiite and the main spokesman for the Islamic Dawa Party. The Dawa Party was previously based in Iran and launched a bloody campaign against Saddam’s regime in the late 1970’s. Saddam crushed the campaign in 1982. The party is a member of the United Iraqi Alliance coalition.

ADNAN PACHACHI

Foreign minister in government toppled by Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party in 1968 coup, and a member of the post-invasion Iraqi National Council. He now heads a new group called the Independent Democratic Gathering.

Pachachi, 81, had urged that the ballot be delayed by three months to give Sunni political and religious leaders a chance to abandon their boycott call. A prominent secular Sunni, he is seen as a possible compromise figure to lead a future government. He was Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations in the 1960s and now wants a powerful role for the world body in helping Iraqi build new democratic government.

AHMAD CHALABI

A secular Shiite and one-time Pentagon confidant who led the Iraqi National Congress, a major umbrella group of numerous disparate groups, including Iraqi exiles, Kurds and Shiites.

A 58-year-old former banker who left Iraq as a teenager, Chalabi fell out with Washington this year after claims he had passed on intelligence information to Iran.

Chalabi, who was convicted in absentia of fraud in a banking scandal in Jordan in 1989, is a member of United Iraqi Alliance.

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