Saturday, December 17, 2005

Economic Times (India): It could be a hung house in Iraq. Final results in Iraq’s parliamentary election may not be known for two weeks, but early indications show the Shiite tickets doing well in traditional Shiite strongholds, election officials said Friday. In Mosul, capital of the predominantly Sunni Arab province of Nineveh, indications were that the Sunni coalition came in first, said a representative for the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance, Hameed Shabaky. He said the Shiite governing party apparently came in fourth behind the Sunni coalition, the Kurds and a bloc led by former PM Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite. Turnout in what was a mostly peaceful election was overwhelming. Election officials estimated up to 11m of the nation’s 15m registered voters took part in Thursday’s vote, which would put overall turnout at more than 70%. [...]

AP via Guardian (UK): A leading Sunni politician said Friday his party would be open to an alliance with secular Shiites and Kurds to form a coalition government to run the country once the results are in from this week's parliamentary elections. ``We will not accept the exclusion of any segment of the Iraqi people unless they themselves don't want to participate,'' said Adan al-Dulaimi, a former Islamic studies professor who heads a Sunni Arab bloc that is now expected to have power in parliament. U.S. officials view al-Dulaimi, who heads an alliance called the Iraqi Accordance Front, as a possible intermediary who could persuade some Sunni-led insurgent groups in restive Anbar province to join the political process after boycotting previous votes.

Financial Times: Strong Sunni turnout in Iraq election raises hopes for successful democracy.