The final results of the Iraqi legislative elections held on March 7 in Iraq were announced by the nation’s electoral commission. According to the final official results, the Iraqi National Movement led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi has narrowly defeated the State of Law Coalition led by incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The National Iraqi Alliance which includes former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari comes in a rather distant third. Turnout was 62.4%, higher turnout in Sunni areas and lower turnout in Shi’a areas.
The Iraqi National Movement, commonly known as al-Iraqiya is led by former secular Shiite Prime Minister Ayad Allawi but includes most Sunni parties and could be considered as an alliance of Allawi’s secular elements and the various Sunni movements. Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law Coalition is largely Shiite-led and based, though it does not include clerical Shi’a movements. These movements, such as the Sadrist party, are members of the National Iraqi Alliance which includes other Shi’a parties and whose major leaders include Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani. In Kurdistan, the race was between the Kurdistan List, which includes the two traditional organizations which dominate Kurdish politics: the KDP and PUK. Against them was aligned the Movement for Change, a reformist party led by former members of the PUK and which won nearly 25% of the vote in last year’s Kurdish elections. Two smaller Islamic movements also contested the election in Kurdistan.
Here are the results announced by the electoral commission:
Iraqi National Movement (al-Iraqiya) 25.87% winning 91 seats (+55)
State of Law Coalition 25.76% winning 89 seats (+76)
National Iraqi Alliance 19.43% winning 70 seats (-47)
Kurdistan List 15.27% winning 43 seats (-10)
Movement for Change 4.36% winning 8 seats (+8)
Unity Alliance of Iraq 2.9% winning 4 seats (+4)
Iraqi Accord Front 2.72% winning 6 seats (-38)
Kurdistan Islamic Union 2.27% winning 4 seats (-1)
Islamic Group of Kurdistan 1.41% winning 2 seats (-1)
Minorities 8 seats (+8)
I haven’t found regional results (yet), but it seems that Allawi’s list led in the more Sunni areas (Anbar, Diyala, Salah ad-Din and Ninawa), while the National Iraqi Alliance led in 3 Shi’a governorates (Maysan, Dhi Qar, Al-Qadisiyyah) and the Kurdistan List was ahead in the three Kurdish governorates plus the divided Kirkuk governorate. The State of Law Coalition leads elsewhere, all in Shi’a areas, and also in the centres of Baghdad and Basra (as well as Najaf and Karbala).
While the UN and US have accepted the results of the election, Maliki has not yet accepted his loss and has called for a manual recount of votes, something which the UN does not want. The results need to be approved by the judiciary, which would take weeks, and the next step will be to build a shaky coalition. Furthermore, with the US troops due to be out of the country in five months’ time, it will be hard for there to be a peaceful and calm transition if the results are contested or if coalition-building takes a long time.