Shiites Win Iraq Polls, Lose Majority: Results

Iraqi Shiite-based religious parties have won the country's recent general elections, but failed to obtain an absolute majority of seats in parliament, according to the final results released on Friday, January 20.

Shiites Win Iraq Polls, Lose Majority: Results

The Shiite United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) took 128 of the parliament's 275 seats, 10 short of the slim majority it enjoyed in the outgoing Sunni-boycotted interim assembly, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Its partner in the outgoing government, the Kurdish Alliance, won secured 53 seats, down sharply, leaving the ruling coalition three seats short of the two thirds majority needed to elect a president and rule alone.

The results, though final, still need to be certified after a two-day new appeals period.

The announcement came only one day after the International Mission for Iraqi Elections (IMIE) cited violations and cases of fraud in the December 15 polls, but made no call for rerun.

The IMIE, a 10-nation monitoring body led by Canada, arrived in Iraq late December to review the results after complaints from leading Sunnis coalitions and former prime minister Iyad Allawi' party of fraud and vote-rigging.

Some 70 percent of eligible Iraqi voters turn out on December 15 to elect a new four-year term parliament, the first since the 2003 US invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime.

The new legislature's first task will be to appoint a president and two vice presidents who will then have 15 days to name a prime minister.

The premier will have 30 days to form a full-term, four-year cabinet with parliamentary approval.

Sunnis

The Sunni National Concord Front (NCF) coalition took 44 seats, while Saleh Al-Mutlak's National Dialogue Front, another major Sunni party, took 11 seats.

Former prime minister Iyad Allawi's secular Iraqi National List saw its share of seats shrink from 40 to 25.

Of the total seats, 230 were allotted to candidates from the country's 18 provinces, while an additional 45 were distributed on a proportional basis.

Losing the two thirds majority they had in parliament, the ruling Shiite-Kurdish coalition is expected to invite in at least one of the Sunni Arab parties in order to form a government of national unity.

Despite their complaints over the election process, no Sunni party has indicated that it would boycott negotiations on setting up a new government.

Many Sunni political leaders are already discussing places in a grand coalition government and talks are expected to start shortly with Shiite and Kurdish groups, according to Reuters.

A period of intense haggling is expected to follow as the make-up of the government is negotiated -- a process that took almost three months last year.

US officials have indicated that they hope to see the new government formed sooner rather than later to avoid squandering the momentum of the elections.

United Iraqi Alliance 10 seats short of a majority
Kurdistan Alliance again likely coalition partner
Sunni Arabs gain much greater representation
Secular alliances win fewer seats
Former PM Iyad Allawi's bloc loses half its seats
Deputy PM Ahmed Chalabi's alliance wins no seats

 

Tight Security

Iraqi authorities had taken the tightest security precautions ahead of the release of the results, sealing off three predominantly Sunni Arab provinces.

State Iraqi television said the provinces of Diyala, Salaheddin and Anbar, all the frequent sites of resistance attacks, have been put under strict security measures.

"The provinces will be sealed off for 48 hours starting Friday morning to prevent acts of terrorism at the time of the announcement of the election results," said the broadcaster.

Police in the western restive city of Fallujah have also announced the sealing off of their Sunni-majority town for three days, starting on Thursday.

"We do believe, based on what's happened in the past, that on about the time the election results are released there will be another surge in violence," US Major-General Rick Lynch told reporters Thursday.

Source:IslamOnline.net

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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