IRAQI ELECTION RESULTS….The final election results from Iraq initially indicated that the combination of the Shiite religious coalition and the main Kurdish coalition had failed to win the two-thirds majority needed to form a government. Juan Cole reports that although that’s true, they have enough small-party support to put them over the top:
The Shiite fundamentalist coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance, won 128 of 275 seats in parliament. It needs 138 for a simple majority. The Risaliyun or Message Party won 2 seats; it represents the Sadr movement of young Shiite clerical nationalist Muqtada al-Sadr, and has announced that it will vote with the UIA. So for all practical purposes, the UIA has 130 seats, 8 short of a simple majority.
[Revised]: The Kurdistan Alliance has 53 seats. I am informed by Peter Galbraith that the Kurdish Islamists, who gained 5 seats, will vote with the Kurdistan Alliance. Together the religious Shiites and the Kurds therefore have 188. A 2/3s majority of 275 would be 184. By that calculation, the two have the votes to choose a president, who will certainly ask the UIA to form a government and provide the prime minister.
So that’s that ? assuming that the UIA and the KA form a partnership, as everyone seems to expect. All that’s left is haggling over ministries.
And the Sunnis? Out in the cold, apparently. Stay tuned to see how that works out.