Wednesday, February 16, 2005

A week of frenetic deal making is under way following the results of Iraq’s parliamentary elections, as winning parties struggle to hammer out a coalition to approve a new government. Two thirds of the 275 new members of parliament must now approve a three-man presidency council, which will have the power to veto legislation passed by parliament, and will in turn choose a prime minister. (Financial Times)

Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said he expected the country's next government to be Islamic. But he hoped more liberal voices would be heard in the shaping of Iraq's future. (Fairfax Digital [Australia])

Turkey called Wednesday for a "comprehensive presence" of international observers to check any irregularities at a referendum on Iraq's constitution this year. (AFP via

MEMRI: Iraqi Elections (VI): The Results and Their Implications

Many view Shiite political leader Ibrahim al-Jaafari as a cleric in a business suit. He is now in the spotlight as his chances grow to win the nomination to be Iraq's first prime minister. Members of the United Iraqi Alliance agreed Wednesday to hold a secret ballot, most likely on Friday, to choose between Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Ahmad Chalabi. Al-Jaafari spoke to The Associated Press this week: [...]

What Next for Iraq's Government? (AP)

Turkey, home to the largest Kurdish minority in the world, is watching nervously as Kurds gain unprecedented political power in neighboring Iraq following major gains in that country's elections. Opposition to Kurdish nationalism has been a cornerstone of Turkish policy for decades, out of fear that Turkish Kurds could be encouraged to press for independence. Some 12 million Kurds live in Turkey. (AP)

Only 12 of the 111 parties and candidate lists that competed in Iraq's election got enough votes to qualify for seats in the new National Assembly, under provisional results. Here is how the election commission determines the allocation of seats: [...] (AP)

A Chaldean bishop of Baghdad is optimistic in the wake of the Iraqi elections, though he is concerned about the rights of Christians. (Zenit News Agency [Rome]) Who won the Iraqi elections? The neocons!

The Michigan Daily: After elections, Iraqi democracy remains an untested proposition. A marginalization of Sunnis in post-Saddam politics could fuel the insurgency and extend America's stay in Iraq.

The Oakland Tribune: Iraq's election sets tone for compromise

Zaman Online: The Danger Awaiting Iraq. Were America's expectations met in the Iraqi elections? The Washington Post's interpretation is interesting: "US faced with an unexpected post-election picture of Iraq." Actually, the Iraqi elections were not like the Afghani elections. The support given to Hamid Kharzai in Afghanistan did not conflict with the election outcome. In Iraq, however, the US had to bow its head in acceptance of the victory of Shiite groups close to Iran. The alliance supported by the spiritual leader of the Iraqi Shiites Ayatollah al-Sistani gained a significant advantage by winning about 50 percent of the votes. Some comments have come to agenda that Shiite's power will increase in the region, and Iran will play a role as the center of gravity of this power. [...]