Iraqi Election Results

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.