Slow Going in Iraq Election Count

Final Official Results May Not Come Until End of the Month

Iraqi officials today revealed that the final turnout for yesterday’s parliamentary vote was 62 percent of the nation’s 19 million eligible voters. They also promise preliminary results later this week, though this will only include a percentage of the overall count.

The official final count that decides how many of the 325 parliamentary seats go to each party is not expected to be released for several weeks, with the end of March put out as a likely timetable. The ballots are all being counted by hand.

The latest forecasts now suggest that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law bloc is the frontrunner, and his bloc is expecting to get 100 seats. The prediction comes in contrast to yesterday’s claims that Ayad Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc was doing the best, and it too says its expects 100 seats.

Preliminary polling, to the extent that it was available at all, suggested that no single bloc was likely to net 100 seats, and if one bloc manages to it will go a long way toward forming a coalition government.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.