Iraq Election Results

The final count is lower than the initial estimates, which is quite understandable given the difficulties of polling and the like, but the breakdown is somewhat of a surprise:

Shiite Coalition Wins Largest Number of Votes (WaPo)

A coalition of largely Shiite parties tacitly backed by the country’s most influential religious leader won the largest number of votes in election results released Sunday, but fell short of the majority that many of its leaders had expected.

The results culminated Iraq’s Jan. 30 elections for a 275-member National Assembly, or parliament, the country’s first free vote in more than a half-century. The final tally had been expected last week but was delayed because of what officials said was a need to ensure its accuracy.

According to the returns, which still must be certified, the coalition known as the United Iraqi Alliance won 47.6 percent of the vote, the low end of what its officials had predicted. A coalition of two main Kurdish parties won 25.4 percent of the vote, and a bloc led by interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi got 13.6 percent.

Together, the three coalitions accounted for nearly 87 percent of the vote, making them the central players in the new National Assembly, which will choose a president and two deputy presidents. They, in turn, will appoint a prime minister, who will choose a cabinet. The new government will be subject to confirmation by the assembly, which will also be charged with writing a new Iraqi constitution.

The negotiations over the top governmental positions began long before the vote was even counted, but the final percentages are crucial in determining the clout each coalition will carry into the negotiations. Many of the key decisions by the new assembly will require a two-thirds vote.

The Iraqi election commission, which announced the results inside the capital’s heavily guarded Green Zone, said overall turnout was 8.55 million votes, which was about 58 percent of those registered to take part. That was a little less than the 60 percent that election officials had predicted soon after the election took place.

Here’s the allocation:

Officials: Shiite Alliance Wins Plurality in Iraq Election (CNN)

[T]hose numbers would give the UIA about 130 seats on Iraq’s 275-seat National Assembly, the Kurds about 70 seats, and the Iraqi list about 40 seats.

The results suggest the Shiite alliance can only succeed in the assembly by partnering with other party members, The Associated Press reported.

A party must receive 31,093 votes to win a seat on the assembly. One hundred eleven parties vied for seats in the vote.

With coalition-building inevitable, political jockeying intensifies:

Shi’ite Bloc Wins Iraq Polls, Sunnis Marginalized (Reuters)

The United Iraqi Alliance insists that one of its candidates — probably current Finance Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi or Vice President Ibrahim Jaafari — be appointed prime minister.

The Kurds want their candidate, Jalal Talabani, to be president or prime minister. Under one scenario, the two blocs could do a deal with a Shi’ite candidate getting the prime minister’s job and Talabani the presidency.

But Allawi, who visited Kurdistan on Saturday and met Talabani, may also try to form alliances to improve his chances. If he can make a deal with the Kurds and persuade some of the Shi’ite alliance to break away, he may be able to keep his job.

In the aftermath, two major questions arise. First, is the Shiite failure to reach 50% a sign of encouragement for Iraq’s overall political health, since it could force partnerships and give minority groups a bigger voice? Second, exactly how many votes did the Sunnis receive, and will this result prove sufficient enough to keep them invested in the constitutional process?

We’ll see.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Comments

  1. INDC Journal says:

    Quick Links
    *** Apparently, toys for Iraqi children reap security benefits. *** Looks like Google is sticking up for Eason Jordan. *** OTB rounds-up the mildly surprising Iraqi election results. ** Kate makes the relevant point about the new chair of the…

  2. anjin-san says:

    OK we had the election & Bush declared it to be a triumph. Lets start bringing our people home.

  3. Just Me says:

    I think they announced a week or so ago that they were going to start bringing troops home, although they can’t all come home yet, there is still a need for Iraqi troops, police and other security to be trained.

  4. McGehee says:

    Don’t go throwing facts and common sense at Anjin. I’m sure that’s considered a hate cvrime somewhere.

  5. AnjinSan says:

    McGehee,

    You mean facts like the “fact” that Saddam had WMD that could be deployed to attack America in 45 minutes that was Bush’s rationale for the war? That kind of fact?

  6. Just Me says:

    Well if that is the fact you are using, then I guess we don’t much have to worry about your opinion, you don’t bother to educate yourself beyond the liberal anti war talking points.

    As per the OP, I think it is probably a good thing that one party did not get a clear majority, because it means that the parties are going to have to work together and compromise some. I think whether or not the can get a constitution written and ratified will be the main telling point as to how successful this will be.

  7. McGehee says:

    I wonder how much more I’ll have to tweak Anjin before he dares me to say something to his face — said dare being offered from behind a pseudonym with no associated e-mail address.

  8. AnjinSan says:

    McGehee,

    Obvoiously you are unable to refute my point about Bush basing a war which has killed over a thousand Americans, maimed many times that number, wasted a vast amount of national treasure at a time when schools and firehouses are closing in America, was based on a “fact”, which was in fact, total BS.

    Why do you not demand facts from the president of the US? Why won’t you demand the same standard from Bush you demand from me?

    Why do you care if I publish my email? I get far too much email as it is, I have no desire to get are related to postings on this site. You are free to say anything you wish to me in this forum. If James does not require an email to parcipate, where do you get off trying to demand information I don’t wish to disclose. I am free to publish using a pseudonym. You Bushites are for freedom, right?

    Guees since you were compleatly unable to refute my argument you had to come up with some BS to respond with. Pretty weak. Bout what I have come to expect from you. But, hey, you are safe and sound at home. Your ass in not going to get shot off in Iraq tonight. Guess life is good.

  9. AnjinSan says:

    More “Good News” from Iraq:

    Police and army numbers falling far short of projections as post-election violence surges and wait for results drags on

    Training of Iraq’s security forces, crucial to any exit strategy for Britain and the US, is going so badly that the Pentagon has stopped giving figures for the number of combat-ready indigenous troops, The Independent on Sunday has learned.

    Instead, only figures for troops “on hand” are issued. The small number of soldiers, national guardsmen and police capable of operating against the country’s bloody insurgency is concealed in an overall total of Iraqis in uniform, which includes raw recruits and police who have gone on duty after as little as three weeks’ training. In some cases they have no weapons, body armour or even documents to show they are in the police.

    The resulting confusion over numbers has allowed the US administration to claim that it is half-way to meeting the target of training almost 270,000 Iraqi forces, including around 52,000 troops and 135,000 Iraqi policemen. The reality, according to experts, is that there may be as few as 5,000 troops who could be considered combat ready.

  10. LJD says:

    I had a conversation with a good friend this weekend. It was over a few beers and about politics… We identified many similarities in our philosophies, until he said “What about the illegal Bush war for oil”. I was stunned. How could a person I know to be intelligent say something so dumb. Then it dawned on me. The answer to all of the controversy.

    The question of the Iraq War is divided over two distinct belief systems. Somehow his belief was that the President, for selfish means, deliberately lied to the American people, to invade a country and take their oil.

    My belief is that we were already at war in Iraq, at the request of the U.N., with no exit strategy, with Saddam stealing aid from his people, and U.N. officials taking their cut, our soldiers being shot at daily, and so on.

    Stepping back away from the beliefs for a moment, one is able to examine them, without the politically charged rhetoric. What I discovered is that for my friend to continue his belief, we must fail in Iraq. Any success or progress will rattle the very foundation they have built with so much anger.

    Just as Democratic members of congress will give no credit or support to the Bush administration for programs that they actually would support, the anti-war sentiment continues. There is no good news, no progress. The only exit strategy for them is for us to fail, for their “belief” to be correct, for the U.S. to put it’s tail between it’s legs and retreat. What a sad state of affairs, when our country’s own citizens would rather fail, than see an opposing viewpoint succeed.

  11. Iragi freedom
    Some good coverage of the Iraqi election results at Outside the Beltway and PowerLine….

  12. McGehee says:

    Why do you not demand facts from the president of the US? Why won’t you demand the same standard from Bush you demand from me?

    What makes you think I demand — or even expect — anything from you, other than what you’ve provided all along on this and all related issues: anonymous rantings, a complete lack of perspective, and the kind of unintentional comedy relief we’ve come to expect from pretty much everyone who retails the “Bush lied” chestnut.

    I don’t try to debate you because you’re not a party to any meaningful debate — by your own decision.

  13. AnjinSan says:

    McGehee,

    I see you are still compleatly unable to answer my original argument. Keep the excuses coming dude.

  14. scott adams says:

    Interpreting the results:
    – We will be now known as “West Iran”
    – US troops must leave as soon as possible
    – We will control our own oil
    – We will provide a leftist social program
    – We want US CIA puppet Allawi out

    Other than that, these elections mean nothing as the place remains infested with neo-terrorists and a long period or instability, if not a bloody civil war, awaits them. Their standard of living will also remain lower than before the invasion for many years…as will ours (in the US).