February 13, 2005

Dust Settles

So a week later and we have some details of the outcome. The religious Shia (United Iraqi Alliance) seem to have won big. Not being as a skilled election analysis when it comes to Iraq, I will rely on Juan Cole's Informed Comment. Most notable (besides the communists picking up a couple seats) is the following:

The system is set up so that a two-thirds majority is necessary to form a government. The United Iraqi Alliance needs to pick up 18 percent or about 50 seats to go forward. The easy place to get those 50 seats is from the Kurds, who have 70 or so. This step will require that substantial concessions be made to the Kurds, who want the presidency, a redrawing of the provincial map of Iraq to create a united Kurdistan province, and substantial provincial autonomy or "states rights."

If this ends up happening we could some really bad results - The Shia get hardline Islamic law and the Kurds get Semi-independence. Which means a not-very-free-Iraq and regional war as Turkey jumps in to prevent their Kurds from joining up with Iraqi Kurds. Wait and see, wait and see.

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