Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s victory in Sunday’s Iraq election is far from certain, but he is still using reports of a narrow lead to begin courting other factions to form a possible coalition government.
The deals won’t exactly be easy to make right now, as it will likely not be clear how many seats its faction has gotten in parliament for at least a couple of weeks. Still with the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) head saying Maliki’s victory was all but certain, Maliki’s State of Law faction can start looking for allies early.
At the same time, though it seem quite clear that the SIIC’s “Iraqi National Alliance” bloc has come in a disappointing third in what was once a neck-and-neck-and-neck election, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s secularist Iraqiya faction still seems to be doing quite well, and counts from most of the contentious provinces have yet to be released.
With Iraqiya still very much in the running and the fraud claims still being investigated, it is unlikely the State of Law bloc will be able to make any but the most nominal coalition partnerships.
Even then some analysts are predicting that State of Law might oust Maliki on its own, even though he is more or less the group’s only high profile member. One possible replacement being floated is Mohammed Jafar al-Sadr, cousin of the firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
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