Tags: Iraq | vote | power | election

Iraq Faces Difficult Power Shift After Vote

Monday, 22 March 2010 08:53 AM

BAGHDAD -Rejected by electoral commission officials, the calls for vote recount by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani foreshow what a possible difficult process the nation's power transition will be in the near future.

The latest results based on 92 percent of the nationwide votes show that former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's Iraqia List bloc leads rival Maliki's State of Law coalition by nearly 8,000 votes. The incumbent prime minister, who is seeking a second term, called for a vote recount Sunday as some blocs, including Maliki's own, cry foul in counting. With a similar tone, President Talabani subsequently demanded a recount in some provinces to ensure " integrity and justice".

The two major blocs of Maliki and Allawi have been in a tight racing ever since partial results have come out gradually with the progress of counting after the March 7 national poll. It was the second time for the secular Shiite Allawi's bloc to surpass that of Maliki in votes. The Iraqi National Alliance (INA), a bloc made up of mainly Shiite religious groups, was in a third place in votes.

he number of votes does not mean the leading coalition will get the most seats in the new 325-seat national legislature, as the seats are allocated to the country's 18 provinces, with the capital Baghdad 70 seats, the most among the 18. Therefore, to win the most seats relies on how well the contesting blocs do in provinces. Also under the election formula, one bloc is unlikely to gain the majority of parliament seats and has to join with others to form a new government.

According to previous partial results, the State of Law led in six southern Shiite-dominated provinces and Baghdad, while the Iraqia List led in five western and northern provinces with a majority of Sunnis. The cross-sectarian Iraqia bloc includes such prominent Sunni Arabs as Vice President Tareq al Hashemi. The INA led in three southern provinces, and the Kurdish Alliance, with Talabani a key leader, led the three provinces of the Kurdish autonomous region.

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Monday, 22 March 2010 08:53 AM
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