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19 December 2005

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nanook

Pat

With the early polling results showing that the Iranian faction have won a sizeable proportion of the votes even in "secular" Baghdad, does this mean that Bush has decided to change sides in the Iraqi tragicomedy?

It seems like too little too late!

alvord

I saw the same early polling results as nanook. I also read that Allawi is toast and that nobody has heard from Chalabi.

nanook

Below excerpts from Financial Times story about early election results.

"Iraq’s election commission on Monday released preliminary results for last week’s parliamentary election, indicating that the Shia Islamist United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) was taking a strong lead."

snip

"It might even give the UIA close to the majority of seats it took after January’s elections, suggesting that the active participation of the grassroots movement loyal to radical Shia leader Moqtada al-Sadr may have offset the influx of new Sunni voters.

The results, if confirmed, are also likely to be a disappointment to the US and British governments, which were reportedly hoping that a strong showing for Mr Allawi would limit the power of the Alliance, which many Sunnis consider to be a force contributing to the polarisation of the country.

In Baghdad, the UIA took 58.7 per cent of valid ballots cast, while the Sunni-led Iraqi Consensus Front received 18.9 per cent and Mr Allawi 13.6 per cent.

In the southern provinces, where the former prime minister hoped to pick up votes from secular middle-class Shia, the Alliance took between 75 and 87 per cent of the vote, while Mr Allawi won between 4.5 and 12 per cent. In Salaheddin, the one Sunni-majority governorate to have its ballots counted, the Islamist-leaning Consensus Front took 33 per cent, the more secular-nationalist Iraqi National Dialogue Front took 19 per cent and Mr Allawi’s list took 11 per cent."

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/f6d408e0-70b8-11da-89d3-0000779e2340.html

sbj

If such a deal achjieved the effect you describe it would be a stunning accomplishment, a prime example of how even the subtle hypocrisy of a "Do as I say, not as I do" style approach can sometimes yield constructive results.

Given the early numbers recounted by the other commenters here, the whole thing seems quite unlikely though.

theBhc

Yeah, I would say. Allawi is already making noises of voter fraud and "campaign malfeasance." Chalabi has barely registered a blip.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/20/international/middleeast/20iraq.html

W. Patrick Lang

theBHC

I didn't say the attempt at a non-religious coalition would work, just that they are probably trying it. I would at this point. pl

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