Iraq Elections What Happened And How Does It Affect You-actv

UnCategorized Iraq held elections on March 7, 2010, to elect a new Parliament and possibly a new prime minister. Defying a sustained barrage of mortars and rockets in Baghdad and other cities, Iraqis went to the polls in large numbers. The short and fierce political campaign could end up either solidifying Iraq’s nascent democracy or leaving the country fractured along ethnic and sectarian lines. But it was arguably the most open, most .petitive election in the nation’s long history of colonial rule, dictatorship and war. The election results, however, added to rather than reduced the country’s political turmoil. The slate led by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki trailed one led by a former interim leader, Ayad Allawi, by 89 seats to 91. Both were far from the 163 seats needed to secure an outright majority in the new 325-member Parliament. Mr. Maliki protested the results, despite agreement by international observers that the contest was generally fair, and on April won a court ruling that ordered a recount in the Baghdad region, which accounted for a fifth of the total votes cast. Mr. Allawi warned that there could be violence if his victory was overturned. The prime minister also won a ruling from the nation’s Supreme Court that could allow him rather than Mr. Allawi to be the one to put together a new cabinet. Another .plicating factor were the rulings handed down before the election by the .mittee in charge of the so-called de-Baathification process that a number of candidates on Mr. Allawi’s slate should be barred because of their connections to the party of Saddam Hussein. In many ways, the vote solidified ethnic and sectarian divisions unleashed by the American-led invasion in 2003. Despite a conscious effort by most parties to appeal to nationalist sentiments, people still voted along the lines of identity. Those demarcations of Sunni Arab, Shiite Arab or Kurd have bedeviled attempts to solve the country’s most pressing issues, including borders disputed between Arabs and Kurds and the power of the federal government in a country still haunted by decades of dictatorship. At stake is not only the question of who will lead Iraq, but also of whether the American military will be able to stick to a timetable that calls for large-scale troop withdrawals later in 2010. By August, the number of troops is set to be down to 50,000, and they would be restricted to non-.bat roles. When the election was planned, it was hoped that it would produce a legislature that more fully represents Sunnis, who largely boycotted the 2005 vote, and one less divided along sectarian lines. But the preparations have instead highlighted the continuing conflicts between the country’s parties and ethnic groups, raising tensions before the official campaigning even began. The date of the voting was pushed back from January because of lengthy delays in getting campaign laws through Parliament. And the country was brought to the verge of a political crisis in early 2010 when the electoral .mission disqualified about 500 candidates because of their ties to the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein. The move was seen by Sunnis and Shiites as a heavyhanded attempt by the party led by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to block rivals. It was overturned by an appeals court, which said the question of disqualifications should be taken up after the election potentially setting up an even more bitter conflict over removing elected legislators. Voters were not choosing a prime minister directly, but rather electing the members of Parliament who will select one. In 2006, it took months of negotiations before legislators settled on Mr. Maliki. At the beginning of 2010, Mr. Maliki’s widespread popularity as the leader who helped stop the cycle of violence that almost consumed Iraq seemed destined to bring him another term. But as the election approached, his chances became far more uncertain.Even his own supporters acknowledged that Mr. Maliki appeared isolated, imperious and impetuous, his re-election prospects hurt by events out of his control and by others of his own making. Election Day on March 7 was marked by violence that left at least 38 dead, but that did not dissuade voters from turning out in large numbers. The vote counting process proved to be more chaotic than expected, with accusations of fraud by leading parties, divisions among highly politicized electoral officials and chaos in disclosing the results. Mr. Allawi, a secular Shiite, put together a coalition that included many Sunni parties, and his list won heavily in their parts of the country. Mr. Maliki, whose Dawa Party broke with other Shiite religious parties, ended up splitting the vote of the Shiites, who make up 60 percent of the population. Neither candidate, however, won anywhere near the 163 seats needed for a majority in Parliament. In the days leading to the announcement of results of the March 7 poll, it was widely assumed that the candidate who won the most seats would be given the advantage of the first attempt at forming a government, and be given 30 days to do so. However, the day before the results were announced, the prime minister’s office asked the Supreme Federal Court for a definition of the term, the parliamentary bloc with the most members in Article 76 of the Iraqi Constitution. With little explanation, the court ruled that the leader of the bloc with the most followers once Parliament convenes probably in June would be the one forming a government. With Mr. Allawi winning not only the most seats in Parliament but also the most popular votes, there could be widespread dissatisfaction if Mr. Maliki were given the first opportunity to form a government. In final results, Mr. Allawi’s Iraqiya list won 2,851,823 votes, with the next closest list, Mr. Maliki’s, gathering 2,797,624 votes. Just as problematic for Mr. Allawi will be efforts by the government’s Accountability and Justice .mission formerly known as the De-Baathification .mission to disqualify 52 candidates for Parliament, most of them from the Iraqiya list. Mr. Maliki won yet another procedural victory on April 19, when a court ordered a partial recount. While the recount is limited, so far, to the province that includes Baghdad, it could upend the narrow two-seat national victory of Mr. Allawi. The region accounts for more than one-fifth of the 12 million Iraqis who voted in March and 70 of the 325 lawmakers who will serve in the new Parliament, meaning that any significant change in the count could prove decisive. Many have read Mr. Allawi’s strong showing as a victory for a cross-sectarian alliance that hewed to a nationalist line. But the results released on March 15 show that his coalition had only moderate gains in the Shiite south, scoring a distant third in most provinces there. That has made for one of the election’s greatest paradoxes: a secular Shiite heading the Sunni bloc in Parliament. It also points to the greatest difficulty Mr. Allawi will face: balancing the demands of his new constituency with the necessities of an alliance to lead the government. An ally on his list has insisted that the presidency go to a Sunni Arab rather than to a Kurd. Many of the powerful candidates on his list, known as Iraqiya, are also adamantly opposed to concessions to Kurds along disputed borders. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: