RealNews

With Tough Election Over, Spotlight on Uniting Iraqis

The ballots are still being counted, but the hard bargaining to form a new Iraqi government has already begun. Less than a day after millions of Iraqis flocked to the polls, the leaders of the country’s major political parties said they were reaching out to potential allies in what is almost certain to be a coalition government. And between rivals, candidates signaled that the battle lines had been drawn. The most likely contest, political leaders here say, will pit the largest coalition of Shiite parties, the United Iraqi Alliance, against a group led by the interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi. The struggle, in addition to setting the composition of the next government, would raise fundamental questions about the nature of the new political order here. Principal among them, these political leaders here say, will be the role of Islamin governing the country and the relative influence of the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Full Story

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