Provincial Elections in Iraq

More on Iraq’s provincial elections, slated for Saturday for most people, though some categories of voter have already voted,on Wednesday (e.g.police, the sick).

This sample is a skewed one and might not be representative of the electorate. But the early results of this vote , according to al-Hayat writing in Arabic, could tell us something about the general election to be held on Saturday. Leaks suggest that the Islamic Mission Party (Da`wa) of PM Nuri al-Maliki, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq led by cleric Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, and the party of Interior Minister Jawad Bulani, and are leading in Baghdad and the Shiite south.

McClatchy wonders if the provincial elections in Iraq will succeed and will avoid an outbreak of violence or a refusal of the vanquished to relinquish power to the victors. I don’t think failure or electoral violence are likely to derail things at the provincial level, except possibly in highly contested provinces such as Diyala and Babil. After all, there are still large numbers of US troops in the country to keep the peace. Most provinces have a dominant ethnicity. It is the parliamentary elections of 2013 that will be the test of whether the current parliamentary system in Iraq can endure.

Erik Gustafson of EPIC explains the provincial elections and expresses alarm at how the parties are being funded by outside powers.

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