Shiites win dominating role in Iraq

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Interim Prime Minister Allawi's list came in third in the polls

Iraq – The Shi'a United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) candidates have won at least 132 of 275 seats in the Iraq National Assembly, according to the results announced Sunday.

Capturing 48.1% of the national vote, the UIA is the largest single block in the Assembly. Yet even so large a block must create alliances with other parties to form a unity government. There has been ongoing speculation the UIA is in negotiations with the Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan in advance of the poll results.

The union of the Khurdish parties garnered 25.4% of the national vote, equivalent to 71 seats, giving Khurds a vital voice in the National Assembly. The parties have reiterated their call for a Khurdish president or prime minister.

al-Qayimaal Iraqia, dominated by Iyad Allawi's Iraqi National Accord party, polled at 13.8%, and secured 38 seats.

Sunni voters stayed away from the election in droves, leaving them with very little representation in the Assembly. The Iraqis, the largest Sunni party in Iraq, received only 150,000 votes, less than two percent of the votes reported. The next largest, the Independent Democrats Movement, gained less than 0.1 percent.

The National Assembly vote on January 30 also included elections for governors, and the Khurdistan Assembly.

There are approximately 14.2 million eligible voters and 7,761 candidates in the Transitional National Assembly race. Approximately 58% of eligible voters cast their votes in the election, in line with pre-election projections.

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