Zogby: 9% of Sunnis Will Vote
Stong Majority of Iraqis Wants US Out
Borzou Daragahi of AP reports an Iraqi poll that shows that the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance coalition will do best in Sunday’s election, but won’t get a majority. The Iraqiya list of interim PM Iyad Allawi comes in second. The united Kurdish list will also do quite well (Kurds will almost certainly be over-represented in the new parliament). The poll says that no other list seems likely to get more than about 3% of the vote. In a 275-member parliament, that would be about 8 or 9 seats. If the poll is borne out by events, Iraqi politics will look an awful lot like Israeli politics in its dynamics, because the parliamentary electoral system works the same way. If the UIA can’t form a government on its own, it will need a coalition partner– either the Allawi list (which would give it a comfortable majority if that one does well) or a set of four or five small parties, each of which might have special demands and which might threaten to leave the majority coalition if they don’t get their way.
Daragahi reports that Iraq’s atmosphere is fearful and as though it is under siege.
Reuters says 17 persons have been killed in car bombings and other attacks in the lead-up to the elections. Electricity and polling stations are being targeted. Among the dead on Friday were at least 5 US troops, and possibly more as a US helicopter crashed and the fate of its crew remained unknown.
Zogby International did a poll of 805 Iraqis between January from January 19 to 23, 2005 in the cities of Baghdad, Hilla, Karbala and Kirkuk, as well as Diyala and Anbar provinces.
Sunni Arabs who say they will vote on Sunday: 9%
Sunni Arabs who say they definitely will not vote on Sunday: 76%
Shiites who say they likely or definitely will vote: 80%
Kurds who say they likely or definitely will vote: 56%
Sunni Arabs who want the US out of Iraq now or very soon: 82%
Shiites who want the US out of Iraq now or very soon: 69%
Sunni Arabs who believe US will hurt Iraq over next 5 years: 62%
Shiites who believe US will hurt Iraq over next five years: 49%
Shiites who want to hold elections on Jan. 30: 84%
Kurds who want to hold elections on Jan. 30: 64%
Sunni Arabs who want to postpone elections: 62%
Sunni Arabs who consider guerrilla resistance against the Americans legitimate: 53%
Iraqis who would support a religious government: 33%