Iraqi elections

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Iraq Breaks Political Deadlock

Maliki will return as PM under tentative deal

(Newser) - Eight months after the country went to the polls, Iraqi politicians have reached a tentative deal to form a government. The Sunni-backed Iraqiya alliance has agreed to support a unity government headed by Nouri al-Maliki, who will return for a second term as prime minister, the New York Times reports.... More »

Iraqi PM Loses Election; Supporters Threaten Violence

UN condones votes, al-Maliki calls result 'not final'

(Newser) - Iraq's fragile democracy is in danger after vote counts released today showed Nouri al-Maliki narrowly lost the election. The current PM's party lost to Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya, 91 to 89. Though the margin was slim, electoral observers and diplomats say the result was fair and largely free of fraud. Nonetheless,... More »

Maliki Demands Recount as Party Lead Slips

Iraq boss accuses election panel of tampering

(Newser) - Iraq's prime minister accused the country's election commission of manipulating national vote results and ordered a recount as a rival coalition edged into the lead over his bloc with 79% of of the tally in. Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition is still ahead in the province-by-province count, but challenger... More »

Very Close Iraq Vote Prompts Challenges, Maneuvering

Rampant horsetrading expected as groups struggle to form government

(Newser) - Early results are coming in from Iraq’s election, and though Nouri al-Maliki’s coalition appears to have won a plurality, the race remains exceedingly close. The Iraqi National Alliance, a coalition of Shiite parties, has already called the vote counting into question, with leader Ahmed Chalabi demanding candidates be... More »

Iraqi Candidates Woo Voters With Gifts

With election days away, 'Iraqracy' in full swing

(Newser) - With Iraq’s parliamentary election fast approaching, the candidates are vying for voters' affections by showering them with gifts. One candidate recently handed out frozen chickens in a poor village near Baquba. Another in Babil Province doled out sports equipment and running shoes from China. Voters have also scored phone... More »

Kurds Threaten to Block Iraqi Election

Dispute over Kirkuk holds up passage of new election law

(Newser) - A dispute over the oil-rich province of Kirkuk is threatening to delay the Iraqi elections scheduled for January and push Arab-Kurd tensions past the breaking point. Kurdish lawmakers in the Iraqi parliament have vowed to block a vote on a new election law unless authorities agree to use voter records... More »

Iraqi Shiites Ditch Maliki in New Coalition

Group favors a government more closely allied with Iran

(Newser) - Iraq’s major Shiite parties have formed a new coalition without Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki or his Dawa Party, they announced today. That means that unless Maliki finds new allies, he will likely lose his job following the January elections. If the new coalition wins a majority, he’ll be... More »

Maliki Not Above Arresting Rivals as Iraq Election Looms

(Newser) - PM Nouri al-Maliki looks a lot like a strongman these days, using every lever at his disposal to influence Iraq’s January elections, the Washington Post reports. His men have arrested or threatened political rivals in Diyala province and Basra; last month they even arrested a councilman from the Iraqi... More »

Maliki Charts Post-Sectarian Politics in Iraq

Shiite PM teams with secular Sunnis and even militant cleric

(Newser) - The Shiite party of PM Nouri al-Maliki has allied itself with Sunni political figures and even Moqtada al-Sadr, a major departure from earlier politics that followed ethnic and sectarian lines. writes Anthony Shadid in the Washington Post. All support a strong central government and advocate a united Iraq over a... More »

DC Shrugs Off 'Miracle' in Iraq

Obama must support healthy Iraq, even if he opposed war

(Newser) - The US barely noticed the recent "small miracle" in the Middle East, writes Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post: Iraq's peaceful elections. The nation "moved away from religious sectarianism toward more secular nationalism”—good news for the US, bad for Iran. Even though our policies made it... More »

Iraqis Vote for Secular Parties

Iraq PM claiming victory in provincial poll

(Newser) - Iraq's Dawa Party and other secular political parties appear to have scored significant victories in Iraq's provincial elections, strengthening the hand of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Detailed election results are still several days off, but religious parties appear to have been defeated in the principal cities of Bahgdad and Basra,... More »

Iraqis Wrap Up Voting Amid Relative Calm

That this is worth reporting is deeply sad and also deeply funny

(Newser) - Iraq’s first provincial election went off more or less smoothly today. Though three mortar shells landed near one polling place, no one was injured or killed, Reuters reports, and polls closed without any other major incidents. Turnout appeared strong, even in places like Anbar province, a Sunni-dominated area that... More »

Polls Open in Watershed Iraqi Election

Thousands vie for seats in biggest vote since fall of Saddam

(Newser) - The polls are already open for this weekend's provincial elections in Iraq, the nation's first since it became a fully sovereign nation after the fall of Saddam. The Sunni minority is participating, reports the Christian Science Monitor, and Iraqis can vote for more than 14,000 candidates vying for 440... More »

Iraqi Women Pressured to Run for Office, Fill Quota

Many candidates in Anbar are wives of tribal leaders

(Newser) - Iraq has new rules to boost women's rights, but it may take a while for the nation's culture to get up to speed, Time reports. In this month's provincial elections, for instance, 25% of newly elected council members must be female. But in provinces such as Anbar, the idea of... More »

US Troop Deaths at New Low

Fewest troops killed since Iraq war began

(Newser) - The US military lost 467 service members in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008, the lowest annual death toll since the Iraq war began in 2003, reports USA Today. But the coming year could be more challenging. Up to 30,000 extra troops are being sent to Afghanistan and upcoming elections... More »

Political Turf War Threatens Stability at Iraqi Oil Giant

Government wants to oust director of South Oil, but he's resisting

(Newser) - The central government in Iraq is trying reassert its control over a huge state-owned oil company by forcing out its maverick—but highly effective—chief, the Wall Street Journal reports. He's refusing to go, however, and the resulting turf war could have huge implications not only for Iraq but the... More »

US to Stall Troop Cuts Over Iraqi Elections

But Baghdad vetoed plan for the ballots earlier this week

(Newser) - US troop cuts in Iraq will stall after July to ensure security for local elections, a Washington official said yesterday. "You can actually increase your own risk if you pull out too many simultaneously," the official said. "This is not a stall tactic." But Baghdad officials... More »

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