Sunni Side Up
Posted on Mar 26, 2010
Results from Iraq’s March 7 parliamentary election have come in, bringing news that a predominately Sunni opposition alliance has taken the majority of the country’s legislative body and ended seven years of Shiite domination.
The Shiite power lock began after the U.S. deposed President Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, in 2003.
The opposition victory could test the country’s “democratic” character, as Shiite politicians more or less promised violence if defeated. Sunnis make up only about 20 percent of Iraq’s population. —JCL
The Wall Street Journal:
Ayad Allawi’s predominantly Sunni alliance has won Iraq’s national election, narrowly edging out Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki’s list to become the largest bloc in the country’s next parliament.
The upset threatens to end the lock on power that Iraq’s majority Shiites have enjoyed since the 2003 after decades of oppression under Saddam Hussein and could severely test the country’s fragile institutions. Before the announcement, Shiite politicians warned of violence should their parties lose the election.
The preliminary results announced Friday night show Mr. Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc winning 91 seats in the 325-member parliament to 89 seats for Mr. Maliki’s State of Law.
In a hastily convened press conference, the prime minister announced he would press for a recount, citing suspicions of fraud.
AP / Alaa al-Marjani
Iraqi men in Najaf watch a live broadcast of the Friday press conference of Faraj al-Haidari, chief of the Independent High Electoral Commission. Results show the Sunni opposition to be the winner of a majority in the Iraqi parliament.