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Maliki, Allawi and the Iraqi People

Zaid Al-Ali, 2 April 2010, OpenDemocracy

The election results are in, and no one can say that they weren’t surprised. Ayad Allawi’s Iraqiya Alliance, a secular grouping that in the December 2005 parliamentary elections had been relegated to fourth place, has come out on top this time with 91 MPs. Nouri Al-Maliki, the incumbent prime minister and leader of the State of Law Coalition, which had been hoping to dominate the next government by winning as many as 120 seats in the current elections, has had to settle for 89. Both groups are now furiously courting some of the elections’ other winners, in particular the Sadrist movement (39 seats) and the Kurdish Alliance (43 seats) with a view to securing the 163 seats that any alliance would need in order to win a vote of confidence in parliament. Although the effort is only a few days old, it has already given rise to accusations (by the ruling party no less) of electoral fraud, to an effort to disqualify winning candidates because of alleged links to the banned Baath Party, and to the intense involvement of foreign nations (most particularly Iran) in an effort to influence the outcome.

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