(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Saturday, 3/27/2010 Allawi’s Side Wins Iraq Elections
Ruh roh! Tough time for incumbents….. everywhere. Current PM Nouri al Maliki comes in 2nd in Iraq, and
…. he’s not happy.
Iraq election results, out of 325 seats, 163 needed to form a government:
Ayad Allawi’s Iraquiya coalition – 91 seats
Nouri al Maliki’s State of Law Alliance – 89 seats
(Shia) Iraqi National Alliance – 70 seats
Kurdistania (K. Democratic Party, Patriotic Union of K.) – 43 seats
(ARC note: clever readers notice this doesn’t add up. Some small minority factions are awarded reserved seats.)
Following the results announcement, Allawi pledged to “work with all sides” to form a coalition government.
However, in a press conference carried by Iraqi networks, al-Maliki said that the election results announced were “not final” and rejected the outcome.
“We still insist for a manual recount of votes … We cannot accept these results while we suspect them,” al-Maliki said.
“We want to build our country on a clear and transparent elections therefore the electoral commission must seriously respond to our demand.”
The spokesperson for the U.S. Dept of State congratulated the the country for carrying out a successful election, and noted that international and domestic observers were not reporting signs of any widespread or serious fraud. The U.S. embassy in Iraq also issued a statement along the same lines, calling for all parties to work together.
This ought to be interesting, as everybody in the 2 larger parties tries to court Kurdistan in the northern part of the country. The Kurds do not like the south. Who did the semi autonomous region of norther Iraq, Kurdistan, hire to do their Public Relations work, again ? The Tea Party Bus Express, Our Country Deserves Better PAC, Sacramento based swiftboating Republican PR firm of Russo Marsh & Rogers and Move America Forward. What’s MAF up to ? Sending Easter gift boxes to the troops. What’s RMR and the Tea Party up to ? Oh, they’re picketing Harry Reid’s house today in Nevada with Sarah Palin. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/201… Notice how this MSM article does not mention Wierzbicki works for RMR and that the “Tea Party Movement” is Republican astroturf.
(Both Al jazeera and the Jerusalem Post agreed that these election results indicate that this is a sign of
Iraqis rejecting Iranian influence. )
“On this occasion, I’d like to congratulate the Iraqi people and extend the hand of friendship to all neighboring and world countries,” said Allawi, a secular Shiite politician and former prime minister who appealed across sectarian lines to minority Sunnis who have been out of power since the downfall of Saddam Hussein.
In comments to cheering supporters at his Baghdad headquarters, he spoke of his desire to help build a stable region that would help “achieve prosperity for (Iraq’s) people.”
Baghdad’s Sunni neighborhoods, the site of vicious sectarian fighting just a few years ago, erupted in cheering, honking of horns and celebratory gunfire in support of the man whom they have endorsed as their own.
Regardless of who eventually comes out on top, the results of the March 7 elections suggest that millions of Iraqis are fed up with a political system that revolves around membership in one of the two major Islamic sects.
They also show that Iraqis – both Shiite and Sunni – are suspicious of Iranian influence. Allawi was widely seen as closer to the region’s Arab governments than to neighboring Shiite Iran.
An interesting background bio of the top vote getter Iyad (Ayad) Allawi is here: Independent Online South Africa
Allawi is a 64 year old British trained, former neurosurgeon, whom the United States appointed Prime Minister for a short interim in June 2004, where his strong support for the US military vs. the insurgents had the Iraqi voters throwing shoes and tomatoes at him by 2005 during campaigning.
(other news sources are saying supported or backed, not “appointed.”)
He had been a member of Saddam’s now banned Baath Party until 1971, but fell foul of the executed
dictator and went into exile in Britain, where Iraqi agents tried to assassinate him.
However, his most famous escape came in 1978, when an assailant, probably sent by Saddam, attacked him with
an axe and left him for dead during his London exile.
In 1991, together with former Iraqi military and Baathists, Allawi formed the Iraqi National Accord, under CIA
tutalage, which staged an unsuccessful coup against Saddam in 1996.
Per this BBC video,
(love the British sense of humor, as he says deadpan that may have been “some gunfire in the background, we’ve been hearing some sporadic bursts since the results came out” ) reporter Andrew North says this looks like an ” incredible upset at the moment, and a spectacular victory for Iyad Allawi, but very, very tight. ” Maliki has concerns and would like a recount of some polling stations….. allegations of fraud …..
“in this very fractious country, that is going to be the concern, could this trigger new violence because some do not accept the results and don’t feel that they were adequately represented.
But right now, after these results have been declared, Iyad Allawi has won a surprise victory, now though, he would have to form a coalition as he does not have an overall majority for Parliament. ”
As of now, Saturday am in the US, per an Iraqi news site, Al Sumaria, it looks like a standoff. http://www.alsumaria.tv/en/Ira…
al Maliki doesn’t accept the election results, he wants the IHEC (Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission) to recount everything manually, the IHEC says that’s impossible because it will take 3 months and humans belonging to various coalitions doing the counting aren’t going to be any more impartial than electronic voting devices, and Allawi says the Constitution says that the coalition which wins the majority of seats shall form the government.
But per the NY Times, al Maliki went to the Supreme Court before the final vote count was released, and got a ruling on their “Article 76,” which ruled in favor of Maliki. Maliki is saying whoever has the biggest group by the time Parliament meets gets to go first and try to form a government.
Court Decision Before Iraq Vote May Complicate Result
The fact that Mr. Maliki went to the Supreme Court in advance of the final election results is an indication that he was aware of the possibility that Mr. Allawi would likely win a plurality. Formally, the court said in its decision that the prime minister’s office had asked for “a definition of the term, ‘the parliamentary bloc with the most members’ ” in Article 76. The 211-word-long ruling said the question was whether that term in Article 76 meant the bloc that won the most seats in the election, or the bloc that is later gathered together by the time the new parliament meets – and it decreed that the latter interpretation was the correct one. The court said it based its decision on an analysis of the wording of the article and of other similar articles in the constitution, but it did not go into detail.
The dispute over who gets the first shot at forming a government promises to make an already protracted process even more complicated. First the final election results have to be certified by the Supreme Court, which legal experts say may take until late April. That means the new parliament must meet by May 15 and choose a new president, who then has 15 days to choose a prime minister. The prime minister then has 30 days to try to appoint his cabinet-if he can – meaning the entire process could take until at least July 1, assuming none of those deadlines are missed – as they often have been in the past.
That gives both candidates until June to maneuver to win over candidates from other alliances. The candidate with the first opportunity to put together a government has an enormous negotiating advantage, because he has the first 30 days to try to find a ruling coalition. Mr. Maliki, who remains as caretaker until the new government, has the additional advantage of incumbency during the deal-making process. On the other hand, Mr. Allawi could still be given the first chance to form a government if Mr. Maliki cannot put together a majority.
A Supreme Court decision, potentially affecting the outcome of a very close election. Sound familiar ?
note: Different countries’ news sources are spelling both candidate’s names differently, so I kept their versions when quoting.