by Chris Bowers, Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 08:43:58 AM EST
The Shiites likely will have to form a coalition in the 275-member National Assembly with the other top vote-getters -- the Kurds and Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's list -- to push through their agenda and select a president and prime minister. The president and two vice presidents must be elected by a two-thirds majority.(...)
Minority Sunni groups, which largely boycotted voting booths and form the core of the insurgency, rejected the election -- raising the prospect of continued violence as Iraqis try to rebuild their country. (..)
The Shiite-dominated United Iraqi Alliance ticket received 4,075,295 votes, or about 48 percent of the total cast, Iraqi election officials said. The Kurdistan Alliance, a coalition of two main Kurdish factions, was second with 2,175,551 votes, or 26 percent, and the Iraqi List headed by the U.S.-backed Allawi finished third with 1,168,943 votes, or about 14 percent.Unfortunately, it is not too surprising that vote spoilage in the Iraqi elections was actually lower than in American elections: Of Iraq's 14 million eligible voters, 8,550,571 cast ballots for 111 candidate lists, the commission said. About 94,305 were declared invalid. That comes out to about 1.1% vote spoilage. This compares quite favorably to American elections, where in 2000 1.8% of all ballots were spoiled (1.9 million spoiled, with 105.4 million counted) and 2004 in Ohio, where 1.6% of all ballots were spoiled (93,000 spoiled, with 5.63 million counted).
In another affront to American democracy, despite the boycott and very real threat of violence, turnout in Iraq among eligible voters (58%) was almost as high as it was in American in 2004, when 60% of eligible voters cast ballots.