Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Iraq elections results

Sometimes, democracy and freedom is built upon plain simple stalemate: when the factions in a society are unable to simply overwhelm each other, but are also tired of fighting, they sometimes come to the comclusion that cooperation and compromise are the ways to go. With this in mind, the final election results from Iraq bodes well (SFGate, Feb 14):
Baghdad -- The razor-thin margin apparently captured by the Shiite alliance here in election results announced Sunday seems almost certain to enshrine a weak government that would be unable to push through sweeping changes, such as measures granting Islam a central role in the new Iraqi state.

The verdict handed down by Iraqi voters in the Jan. 30 election appeared to be a divided one, with the Shiite alliance, backed by the clerical leadership in Najaf, opposed in nearly equal measure by an array of mostly secular minority parties.

According to Iraqi leaders here, the fractured mandate almost certainly means that a long round of negotiating is about to begin, in which the Shiite alliance will have to strike deals with parties run by the Kurds and others, most of which are secular and broadly opposed to an enhanced role for Islam or an overbearing Shiite government.
The results summarised (AP, Feb 14):
- Turnout: 60%

- United Iraqi Alliance (Shiite alliance backed by Shiite Muslim clergy): 4,075,295 about 48 percent for 140 seats.

- Kurdistan Alliance (coalition of two main Kurdish factions): 2,175,551 about 26 percent for 75 seats.

- Iraqi List (headed by U.S.-backed interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi): 1,168,943 about 14 percent for 40 seats.

- Nine other groups with 12 seats.
For the latest roundup of underreported "Good News from Iraq", see Chrenkoff.

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