Monday, March 22, 2010

Iraq's Election Results Good for the West


2010 Iraqi Election Map. Basemap by D-Maps and edited by Geographic Travels

Iraq is still counting the votes from their parliamentary elections but as the results come in it is clear that the vote is good for the West and liberal forces while bad for Iran.

Background

The greater Shia Bloc split in two before the election. Current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki leads the conservative Shia State of Law Coalition that combines parties ranging from Islamic Dawa to Shia Turkmen groups. The main platform of this group is supporting the prime minister and anti-terrorist operations against radical Sunni and Shia groups. The other Shia group is the Iraqi National Alliance which is a coalition of Shia Islamist parties, both "soft" and "hard core", ranging from Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq to Sadrist groups. This is a pro-Iran alliance of parties.

The Arab Sunnis have fragmented on a local level but nationally have united under the leadership of secular Arab Shia former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and his Iraqi National Movement. Allawi states his ties to the Baathist movement, being a former Baathist, and those who opposed Saddam, being a former exile, can make him a unifying figure. Arab Sunnis like Allawi because he promises not to continue fire former Baathists from federal government jobs which has alienated many Sunnis from Baghdad.

Kurds are finally getting a real choice on a national level as the Kurdistan Alliance faces the reformist group Change List. While the Change List is growing the Alliance is still dominant.

Results

The results mirror the layout of Iraq's ethnic groups. State of Law and Iraqi National Alliance won in Shia regions with Iraqi National Alliance winning in areas where Iranian influence is high. The Iraqi National Movement won in Arab Sunni areas and the Kurdistan Alliance dominated in Kurdish zones. Long War Journal has updated charts of results on the national and provincial level.

It is neck and neck between the Iraqi National Movement and the Rule of Law list. Most likely these two will form a grand governing coalition with each other and the Kurdistan Alliance as fear of the Iranian-backed Iraqi National Alliance is a powerful force in nationalistic Iraq. The probable ruling coalition will be conservative but not Islamist and will likely be favorable to the United States as America decreases it presence in the country. Most importantly, all major groups in Iraq will be represented someway in the new Iraqi government thus assuring buy in by the ethnic groups.

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