Shiia Slates Win in Iraq, Call for Unity
By Jim Garamone
Electoral Commission of Iraq announced the results of the nationwide
voting that took place Jan. 30.
officials announced the results in a Baghdad news conference Feb.
13. As expected, Shiia groups took the most votes. Officials with
the Shiia slates called on all Iraqis to cooperate as the new
government takes power.
Iraqi Alliance – a Shiia group that includes Shiia representatives
spanning the ideological spectrum – came in first with just
over 47 percent of the votes. A Kurdish alliance came in second
with 27 percent and interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s slate
came in third with 14 percent.
8.5 million Iraqis voted in the elections. This is 58 percent
of the eligible population. Sunni Arabs, who make up some 20 percent
of the population, stayed away from the polls.
from more than 100 slates of candidates in the election –
a far cry from Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party elections when people
could only check one box.
Bush applauded the Iraqi people for their courage. "Two weeks
ago, more than 8 million Iraqis defied terrorists and went to
the polls," he said in a written White House statement. "The
world saw long lines of Iraqi men and women voting in a free and
fair election for the first time in their lives.
the Iraqi people for defying terrorist threats and setting their
country on the path of democracy and freedom," the president
He also congratulated
coalition nations that helped provide security for the election.
was for the 275-member National Assembly. The first job for that
body is to elect the president, two deputy presidents and a prime
minister. It will then become the constitutional convention for
If all goes
well, the constitution will be presented to the people of Iraq
not later than Aug. 15. They must vote on the document not later
than Oct. 15. If that’s accepted, the Iraqis must go to the polls
not later than Dec. 15 to elect a new government.
Full Coverage of the January 30 Iraqi Elections Click