Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The End of Maliki?

In contrast to the AP’s breathless declaration that the new Iraqi bloc, the National Iraqi Alliance, will increase Iranian influence, Juan Cole crunches the numbers and concludes that Prime Minister Maliki may not earn a second term.

The NIA is basically the old United Iraqi Alliance minus Maliki’s Dawa Party. Prof. Cole writes:

In the provincial elections held last January in Dhi Qar, ISCI, the
Sadrists and the Islamic Virtue Party got altogether about 40 percent of the
vote. The Da'wa got only about 23%. Other provincial tallies are
given here.
In most provinces, with the exception of Baghdad and Basra, the
old United Iraqi Alliance did just about twice as well as Da'wa.

If the NIA does as well in provincial elections as the old UIA did in
provincial elections, it will again be the biggest party/coalition in the
national legislature. By the constitution, it would therefore form the next
government, and al-Maliki may at that point regret not having joined.

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