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Shiite Bloc Gets Together, Iran-Friendly Government Will Rule Iraq

This was kind of inevitable and it should end much of the wrangling about the ultimate election outcome in Iraq. Iyad Allawi’s secular bloc, boosted by Sunnis, has between 85-91 seats in the Parliament. Nouri al-Maliki’s bloc, mainly Shiite, has between 85-90. The other Shiite bloc, the Iraqi National Alliance, more religious, had around 70. So the Shiites joined together.

The electoral coalitions of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and the other major Shiite bloc in Iraq announced a postelection alliance on Tuesday night that cleared the way for a Shiite-dominated government for the next four years.

The new alliance — not unlike the one that emerged after Iraq’s last parliamentary election in 2005 — strengthens the position of the country’s main Shiite parties but does not yet guarantee Mr. Maliki re-election for a second term.

Right, there’s still much to be done. The Sadrist faction of the second Shiite bloc does not support Maliki, preferring a compromise candidate like Jaffar al-Sadr, but the Iraqi National Alliance generally does. The Shiites will probably need the Kurds to enter into the coalition to form a government, and they may have some say. But basically, you’ll see the same coalition running Iraq as you have since 2005. And while the Shiite alliance has requested that Allawi “enter” a unity governing coalition, they shouldn’t be expected to get much out of such an agreement.

So basically, we invaded Iraq, deposed the Baathist leader, and wound up with an unbreakable fundamentalist Shiite coalition which put together this particular alliance in Iran.


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David Dayen

David Dayen