Maliki's coalition wins vote in Iraq's Shiite provinces
www.chinaview.cn 2009-02-06 02:34:13   Print

Special Report: Tension escalates in Iraq

°§Maliki's coalition effectively won race in Baghdad and eight other Shiite provinces.
°§Maliki's coalition won 38% of the vote in Baghdad and 37% of vote in Basra.
°§Sunni Arabs regained power in the province of Nineveh and Diyala.

    by Jamal Hashim

    BAGHDAD, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The political coalition backed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki came first in races for provincial councils in Baghdad and predominantly Shiite provinces.

    The Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq (IHEC) released Thursday the first official tallies five days after the country's landmark polls in a news conference in Baghdad heavily guarded Green Zone.

The political coalition backed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki came first in races for provincial councils in Baghdad and predominantly Shiite provinces.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki waves to supporters during an election campaign rally in Hilla, 100 km (62 miles) south of Baghdad January 26, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    The results showed that Maliki's State of Law Coalition effectively won the race in Baghdad and eight other Shiite provinces.

    Maliki's coalition won 38 percent of the vote in Baghdad While Shiite allies of anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and Sunni bloc gained 9 percent of votes separately.

    Maliki also won 37 percent of vote in Iraq's second largest city of Basra, whereas the group backed by the once powerful Shiite Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), headed by Abdul Aziz Hakim, came second with 11.6 percent in the oil-hub city in southern Iraq.

The political coalition backed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki came first in races for provincial councils in Baghdad and predominantly Shiite provinces.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki dips his finger in ink as he votes at a polling station in Baghdad's Green Zone January 31, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    In Shiite province of Kerbala, Maliki's coalition came third behind the list of Yousif al-Habobi, a former Baathist and another Shiite group.

    Meanwhile, the results also showed that Sunni Arabs regained power at the expense of the Kurds in the province of Nineveh and Diyala, which remains the last battlefields between U.S. troops and al-Qaida militants.

    The Hadbaa List, a secular nationalist group, won 48.4 percent of vote in Sunni Arab dominated province of Nineveh, while the group backed by Kurdish parties came second with 25.5 percent. The Kurds had benefited from a massive Arab boycott in the previous elections in 2005.

The political coalition backed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki came first in races for provincial councils in Baghdad and predominantly Shiite provinces.

Electoral workers tally votes at a polling station in Basra, 420 km (260 miles) southeast of Baghdad, January 31, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    The Kurds also were the biggest losers in the volatile province of Diyala, in northeast of Baghdad, where the Accordance Front, a Sunni bloc, which includes the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), came first with 21.1 percent, while the Kurdish parties came second with 17.2 percent.

    The Kurdish parties are running the election in the provinces of Diyala and Nineveh alone among other Arab secular and religious(Shiite and Sunni) parties. The elections in the two provinces is a signal that Arabs are determined to resist any part of their provinces to join the three Kurdish provinces of the semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq.

Iraqis wait to vote at a polling station in Baghdad, capital of Iraq, Jan. 31, 2009. Iraqi provincial voting started Saturday morning as Iraqis went to the polls, during which some 14,400 candidates were contesting 440 provincial seats. (Xinhua/Gao Shan)
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    In Anbar province, in western Iraq, tension between rival Sunni parties have been running high after leaders of the Awakening Council groups, or Sahwa militant groups who fought al-Qaida militants in their areas, accused the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), headed by Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, of committing fraud to win majority of the 29-seat provincial council. IIP vehemently denied the accusation.

    The tribal leaders in Anbar maybe finally satisfied after they came second with 17.1 percent of the vote following the Sunni secular party lead by Salih al-Mutlaq who won 17.6 of the vote, while the IIP came third with 15.9 percent.

    On Saturday, millions of Iraqis headed to cast their ballots in polling stations across 14 out of 18 Iraqi provinces to choose their leaders in provincial councils. 

Iraq probes vote fraud allegations

    BAGHDAD, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi electoral commission is probing Wednesday serious allegations of electoral fraud in Anbar province in western Iraq that if confirmed could change the election results there.

    The Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq (IHEC) has received many complaints about fraud and irregularities from the Sunni Arab dominated province of Anbar, Faraj al-Haidari, head of the IHEC said.  Full story

Polling stations close in Iraq's provincial elections

    BAGHDAD, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Polling stations closed doors on Saturday in Iraq's provincial elections after being held open an extra hour for the heavy turnout during the last hours of the day.

    Polls closed at 6:00 p.m. (1500 GMT) after 11 hours of casting ballots for several millions out of some 15 million Iraqis who were called to elect members of the provincial councils in 14 out of Iraq's 18 provinces.  Full story

Iraq's PM sees strong turnout in landmark election

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki votes at a polling station in Baghdad's Green Zone Jan. 31, 2009.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki votes at a polling station in Baghdad's Green Zone Jan. 31, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    BAGHDAD, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said that he expects a strong turnout in Saturday's provincial election and called on Iraqis to participate in large numbers.

    "All the indicators refer to that the turnout to the ballot boxes is strong," he said after casting his ballot in a voting station in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.  Full story

News Analysis: Provincial elections to reshape political landscape in Iraq

    BAGHDAD, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Iraqis face a milestone of reshaping the political landscape of the war-torn state on Saturday, as over 70 percent of its 15 million eligible voters are to cast their ballots in hundreds of polling stations across the nation's 14 provinces.

    In Saturday's regional parliamentary elections, the first nationwide election in three years, Iraqis will choose leaders for those provincial councils, when more than 14,400 candidates, about3,900 of them women, are competing for 444 seats.  Full story

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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