Results are beginning to pour in from last weekend’s Iraqi provincial elections, and the Dawlat al-Qanoon coalition of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is gaining enormously across the country, though its victory is somewhat obscured by growing accusations of electoral fraud. Nevertheless, the vote will stand and Maliki’s coalition will hope to consolidate its gains in the national elections to be held later in the year.
In Baghdad, the Maliki coalition netted 38 percent of the votes, with the Sadrist bloc a distance second at 9 percent. In Basra, the long-time domain of rival Shi’ite faction the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC). Maliki achieved an amazing 37 percent, with the SIIC managing only 11.6 percent. All in all, his coalition dominated in 9 of the 14 provinces to release results, though it was insignificant in Anbar, Salah al-Din and Nineveh.
The Dawa and SIIC were seen as the likely two rivals for the prime ministership in the national election, though the results indicate the latter has an uphill battle, to say the least. Both Shi’ite parties, the primary difference in the two comes in the SIIC’s opposition to the centralization of power.