Sunday, February 13, 2005

Iraq's Election Results: Assembly Will Be Dominated By Shi'ites And Kurds

The final results of Iraq's general elections were due to be announced today, two weeks after Iraqis took part in their first free elections in half a century but amid relentless violence. "We will announce the final results tomorrow," electoral commission official Farid Ayar said yesterday. "These will be the uncertified results. We will wait for three days for possible claims by political entities. If there are none, then the results will be certified," he added. Based on partial results previously released by the electoral commission, the final figures should confirm that the 275-member National Assembly will be dominated by Shi'ites and Kurds. The main Shi'ite coalition list which was blessed by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani could muster half the seats in parliament, while the ticket grouping the two main Kurdish parties was also poised to make a strong showing. The Iraqi List of current Prime Minister Iyad Allawi looked set to settle for a distant third place, which observers predicted would force him to relinquish his post.