Sunday, February 13, 2005

Iraqi Election Results Updated

The counting is done and we've got the results:

::::::::The list of candidates representing Iraq's majority Shiite Muslims (search) won the most votes in the nation's Jan. 30 election, followed by the Kurds and then Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's (search) list, Iraqi election officials said Sunday.

The Shiite-dominated ticket received 4.075 million votes. A Kurdish alliance was second with 2.175 million votes and Allawi's list was third with about 1.168 million.

Of Iraq's 14 million eligible voters, 8,456,266 cast ballots, the commission said. That represents a turnout of about 60 percent.

Assuming that the number of eligible voters is exactly 14 million (unlikely, but that's what I've got to work with) then the turnout was 60.4%. Our was reported at 60.7% and we generally didn't have the interesting diversion of death threats issued to us all if we went to the polls. As has been stated often, this was a wonderous day for the Iraqis and I'm extremely happy to have been witness to it. As to the Iraqi results, well that's pretty interesting, too. Rendered into percentages, the 3 top parties came in like this: The Shiite ticket, for whom I cannot seem to locate a name, took 48.2%, the Kurdish Alliance took 25.7%, and Allawi's ticket got 13.8%. First, take note that the party containing interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi came in third. A distant third. In spite of all the prognostications over the past 8 months about how it was obvious that Allawi's party would take the lead since he was backed by the US, the Iraqis had their own ideas and were pretty loud about speaking their minds. Good for them.

Second, and most importantly, note that even the top winner in this election didn't get the 60% of the National Assembly seats necessary for them to dictate terms. They need 12% more of the vote and that means they need to form, (drumroll, please), a coalition within the Assembly. Coalitions mean compromise, and that's going to mean nobody's going to just get everything they want. It does mean, however, that most of Iraq should get what they need. That they've had a hand in the formation of their government has been a great first step.

Update: The guys over at Iraq the Model have their take on the results and, finally, a name for the "Shiite Ticket" referred to in all the news reports. They call themselves the "United Coalition."