Iraq’s Long, Hot Summer?
Introduction: It’s probably still too soon to declare with authority that Ayad Allawi’s Iraqiya party has won the plurality in Iraq’s March 7 parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Rule of Law Coalition, which placed a very close second, has insisted that the election was manipulated and has pledged to fight it any way they can—by demanding a recount and challenging the election in a variety of Iraqi governmental institutions.
Moreover, Allawi’s victory was a narrow one. It seems that Iraqiyya has won probably 91 seats out of the 325 in Iraq’s Council of Representatives (CoR), giving him less than a third. Maliki’s Rule of Law appears to have won 89, whereas none of the other parties is expected to get much above 40 seats. In addition, some of the coalitions forged for the election itself are likely to splinter now that the polling is behind them. The result will be two Gullivers competing to secure the support of enough Lilliputians to get the 163-seats needed to form a government.