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Iyad Allawi's Bloc Comes Out On Top

Iyad Allawi's Bloc Comes Out On Top

Iyad Allawi

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s bloc has won the most seats in Iraq’s parliamentary elections, which took place earlier this month on March 7th.

According to a briefing by the BBC, Allawi’is coalition won two seats more than that of incumbent PM Nouri Maliki, making the race extremely tight at 89:91 seats. Allawi’s win was seen as a surprise; as of last week (with with 89 percent of the votes counted), al-Maliki’s coalition had edged ahead of Allawi in many Iraqi provinces.

Iyad Allawi's Bloc Comes Out On Top

The announcement comes amidst calls of election fraud, and after weeks of waiting for results. Earlier, President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri Maliki backed calls for a manual recount of votes. However, Iraq’s election commission rejected the calls, stating that a total manual recount of all votes would be impossible and was unnecessary because of checks on fraud. Maliki has not yet conceded and in his first public response to the announcement he indicated that he will not give up without a fight. Maliki repeated his request for a recount and added that his bloc would press ahead with plans to form the new government.

There are fears that the election results will spark further unrest in the area. According to the BBC, “just hours before the results were announced, twin bomb blasts in the town of Khalis, in Diyala province, killed at least 40 and left more than 60 injured.”

Despite a series of deadly bombings before and after March 7th, the elections still drew and impressive 12 million voters. Final word on the election is expected in a few days, after Maliki’s complaints are formally investigated.



Neshani Jani

FPA blogger Neshani Jani holds a Masters degree in Media Culture and Communication from New York University and dual Bachelors degrees in Anthropology and Spanish Literature from the University of California, Davis. She is a freelance writer and is currently helping to manage blog networks for the Foreign Policy Association and the Women's Education Project.

Neshani has a background in journalism and interned with the CBS News program 60 Minutes. Additionally, she is a public and internet radio veteran. She has worked as a research assistant at both the Social Science Research Council and at the Institute for Scientific Analysis and currently blogs for several of the Foreign Policy Association's global affairs blogs.