Maliki, Allawi surge in Iraq's early vote count


Iraq-election-results-2010.jpg

Click chart to view early results of Iraq's 2010 parliamentary election for the top three parties. The voting data for the Kurdish provinces of Dohuk, Irbil, and Sulimaniyah have been excluded as the Kurdish Alliance is dominating the polls.

Last updated: March 17

Iraq's Independent High Election Commission has released partial results, by province, for the 2010 parliamentary election. Prime Minister Maliki's State of Law Alliance has taken the early vote lead in Baghdad, Basrah, Babil, Najaf, Karbala, Wasit, and Muthanna, while former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's secular Iraqi National Movement (Iraqiya) party leads in Ninewa, Diyala, Anbar, and Salahadin, and has a slim lead in Kirkuk (Tamin) over the Kurdish Alliance.

The Iraqi National Alliance, which is made up of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Ahmed Chalabi, and the Sadrists, and is considered to be the favorite of Iran, leads only in Maysan, Qadissiya (Diwaniyah), and Dhi Qhar. The Kurdish Alliance is far in the lead in Irbil, Sulimaniyah, and Dohuk, and is only behind the Iraqi National Movement in Kirkuk by a little more than three thousand votes.

It is still early in the vote count to declare definitive winners and losers, but the early trends show that Maliki and Allawi's lists are slated to pick up the majority of the seats in the new parliament. Maliki's early dominance in Baghdad and Basrah ensures his party will have a major showing, and even in the southern Shia provinces where he is trailing the Iraqi National Alliance, only in the small province of Maysan does the latter have a double-digit lead.

Allawi's list also shows that it has the potential to become a national party. The Iraqi National Movement has picked up double digit vote percentages in the southern provinces of Babil, Wasit, and Qadissiya, and is approaching double digits in Basrah and Muthanna. Both the State of Law and the Iraqi National Alliance have had poor showings in the Sunni provinces of Anbar, Ninewa, and Salahadin.

Early on, the Iraqi National Alliance looks to be the loser in the 2010. Despite the reports of a Sadrist resurgence and widespread discontent with the inability of Maliki's government to provide services at the local level, Iraqis have largely shunned the Iraqi National Alliance. So far, only in Maysan has the party received at least 50 percent of the vote, and elsewhere it has broken 40 percent in only three provinces, Najaf, Qadissaya, and Dhi Qhar.

Sources:

"Partial Election Results for 13 Governorates Released by IHEC," Historiae.org
"Early Iraqi Election Results Update," Musings On Iraq
"Results: Iraq's 2010 parliamentary election," The Majlis



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READER COMMENTS: "Maliki, Allawi surge in Iraq's early vote count "

Posted by Zeissa at March 16, 2010 6:33 AM ET:

Maliki's got the big urban centers and their surrounding provinces. He's got this.

Posted by steve m at March 16, 2010 12:18 PM ET:

not that i trust anyone else, but i really distrust allawi.

Posted by ArneFufkin at March 16, 2010 12:53 PM ET:

If the aftermath is peaceful, I am willing to call OIF a success. I saw estimates of 60% plus turnout amongst the 19 million or so eligible Iraqi electorate. That's 12 million democratically empowered folks - a mere seven years after being under the thumb of a historically cruel despot. It remains to be seen how well the ISF handles the inevitable sore losers who reflexively vent their disappointment in violent outburst. But, it appears that Iraq is well along its way to being a beacon of democracy, enlightenment and humanity in a region grotesquely underserved in that regard. Fingers remained crossed.

Posted by Cordell at March 16, 2010 2:02 PM ET:

The key point of these preliminary election results is that they closely match private polls taken before the voting. While there might have been minor voting problems and irregularities, any party charging election fraud will have a very unconvincing case, particularly since no party proved dominant in all provinces.

Undoubtedly, average Iranians envy Iraq's display of true democracy, and Iran's "freely elected" military dictatorship is feeling renewed pressure as a consequence. Let's hope the nascent Green Revolution there doesn't wilt under increasing tyrannical rule.

Posted by Lane at March 16, 2010 4:20 PM ET:

The problem I see, is a scenario where the Iranians have already prepared a firestorm to support the Sadrists based on false or exagerrated reports of fraud and irregularities in voting. They will start working the media and certain members of the Western media will eat it up, partly because they can never admit that the Iraq war was, is, or will be successful.

Then they will move to "protests" and to violence all the while saying that Iran's is the only "true" democracy in the region.

The question will be how the Iraqis and their government respond to this engineered controversy and the violence to follow...

Posted by Neo at March 16, 2010 11:48 PM ET:

Others here may cringe when I say this, but I don't see a close Malaki, Allawi relationship. Allawi is probably better off as an opposition leader, and if he can do that in a civil and businesslike fashion he may have some real leverage. If Milaki, Allawi and some of the major Sunni leaders can work in a constructive manor and not play too many games against each other, than I could see things gradually improving. I don't expect them to form a coalition though. I think the half-life of such a coalition would be very short.

Malaki's best bet is to go to his old conservative allies first. Now that he has a fairly clear mandate, he needs to pull the most centrist of the conservatives and the Karbala religious establishment into his orbit. He probably needs to yield to Karbala on religious matters, but needs to make clear to them that government services, the army, and the police are his. It also would be good to offer Mr. Sadr an olive branch. It may be a dry, leafless, and very short olive branch, but the gesture should be made. If Mr. Sadr wants to continue to make enemies than he is the responsible party for whatever fate befalls him.

Malaki probably needs the Kurds to sign on to a government coalition at some point. The problem is the Kurds are asking too much. If Malaki can get both his party and around half the conservatives behind him, than he might be able to play ala carte with the rest of the parties for a while he gets more reasonable terms out of the Kurds.

To be successful, Malaki needs to deal each side something they can live with, while at the same time denying them what they lust after. If he can do that, he can weather the next five years. Certain outside parties and overeaters probably won't be happy with the arrangements though.

Posted by Lorenz Gude at March 17, 2010 7:30 AM ET:

There is a stark contrast between the real democratic elections in Iraq and fake ones in Iran. One is messy and full of the difficulties that Neo ably explores above and the other is clear and deadly. What encourages me most is the apparent enduring commitment of the Iraq people to democracy. It seems to me that neither the blunders of the Bush administration nor the indifference of the Obama administration to Iraq has caused the Iraqi people to give up on the idea. I am so grateful to the soldiers who also did not give up on the idea. The salutary effects of 23 years under the boot of a tyrant are perhaps underestimated in the West.