Global Education

Iraqi Elections Stir Turmoil

By Brandon Caldwell
Published: March 2010

On Iraq’s election day, insurgents killed 36 people to show support for the former Prime Minister, Ayad Allawi.

While Allawi currently leads in votes in five of the 18 Iraqi provinces, his opposer, Nouri Kamel Al-Maliki, the current Prime Minister of Iraq, is leading in seven provinces.

Al-Maliki is also the secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party, a Shiite secular conservative political party. Allawi represents the Iraqi National Accord, a secular and liberal political party, and was originally put in power by the United States government as part of the Iraqi Interim Governing Council during the U.S invasion in 2003.

This council named him interim prime minister in 2004 before the country’s 2005 election.

The Shiite Iraqi National Alliance and the Kurdish Coalition each hold the lead in three provinces. Leading in the oil-rich province of Basra and the capital, Baghdad, Al-Maliki has been able to stay ahead of Allawi. Allawi, however, has been able to draw Sunni support throughout his campaign. Hundreds of thousands more Sunnis have voted in this election than in the election in 2005.

Regardless of the attacks on election day, Al-Maliki has faith in his people. “The Iraqi people cannot be intimidated, Alw-Maliki said.

Earlier this month, after suspicion of voting fraud arose, the Iraqi National Accord asked for voting officials to release results from every polling center in the country.

Despite originally planning to release polling results once 30 percent of every providence’s votes were counted, election officials, under heavy pressure, released the preliminary results prematurely on Thursday.

Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, served to prevent Iranian supremacy and its neighbors looked to Iraq to control Iranian influence in the region.

Since Saddam, the Iraqi governments have been friendly with Iran, however, Allawi is known for anti-Iran rhetoric.

If he is put in power without the strong United States influence from his 2004 term, politics in the Middle East may change.

The Iraqis have deferred their toughest decisions, to the United States and without the support of the U.S, the elected Prime Minister will likely have to deal with conflicts while keeping popular support.

I “I consider myself a friend of the U.S., but I’m not America’s man in Iraq, Al-Malik proclaimed in 2006. After the Iraq Supreme Federal Court’s certification, the final results of the election are expected at the end of the month.

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