Iraq: Al Qaeda Gets A Response

“With all the votes counted, former prime minister Ayad Allawi’s largely secular coalition got two more seats in parliament than current prime minister Nuri Kamal al Maliki. The incumbent has not accepted the results, and arranged to have judges disqualify enough Allawi supporters to stay in power. Allawi cried foul and called on international (Arab and Western) powers to intervene. The original vote gave Allawi 91 seats and Maliki 89. But 163 seats (of 325) are needed to form a government. So a coalition will still be necessary, because Maliki’s election commission rulings only have him about 140 seats. This sort of corruption is all too common in the Arab world. The U.S. is pressuring both Allawi and (especially) Maliki to play by the rules. In the Arab world, rules are considered far more flexible than in the West, so there is a culture clash here.”

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