Day: May 1, 2014

Maliki weakened but still relatively strong

is reporting unofficial Iraq results from yesterday’s election for numbers of seats in parliament (total number of seats is 328, 165 needed for a majority):

Iraq unofficial election resultsMaliki: 68
Hakim: 48
Nujaifi: 37
Sadr: 31
Barzani: 20
Mustafa: 15
Allawi: 14
PUK: 14
Mutlaq: 11
Musa: 11


These are not final numbers, which often vary from initial reports.

If these hold, Maliki has done less well than many anticipated (80-90 was a common figure when I was in Iraq last month).  He will need Hakim or Sadr or both to stick with him in order to win a third mandate.  If he fails at that, the chances for an anti-Maliki coalition (presumably based on Hakim, Sadr, Nujaifi plus the Kurds) would rise significantly.

In any event, this is a more fragmented result than in 2010, when Allawi’s Iraqiyya beat Maliki 91 to 89 but Maliki formed a larger post-electoral coalition.  Fragmentation could mean a lengthy government-formation period.  Maliki would remain a caretaker with no parliament in place until the speaker is chosen and a president elected.  That would give him time and running room, which he is adept at using.

We’ll have to wait and see whether this unofficial tally holds.

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