ASZ's Iraqi election monitors have held back for a few hours on commenting on the Iraq elections, because as soon as news of the results broke, we turned on the water supply to our
On Feb. 8th, the Detroit Free Press reported that interim vote counts stood at a bit more than four million - nearly 10 days after the election, when the vote tally was supposed to originally be announced. (Indeed, as late as yesterday, a figure of just over four million votes was being reported by the Islamic Press, with a solid Shi'ite majority noted.) Then, results were delayed, austensibly to "recount 300 ballot boxes". Note the words: "recount", not "count".
In four days, the total number of hand counted votes have jumped from just over four million to well over eight million. And earlier projections of a 60% Shi'ite list majority shrunk to less than 50% in the final tally - in other words, not a majority stake in the new National Assembly. As the AP notes:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq majority Shiite Muslims won nearly half the votes in the nation's landmark Jan. 30 election, giving the long-oppressed group significant power but not enough to form a government on its own, according to results released Sunday.
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...[emphasis added]
As Gomer Pyle was fond of saying, "Surprise, surprise!"
Bush Administration representatives Kenneth Blackwell and Katherine Harris could not immediately be reached for comment, as they were taking tea at the al-Riggum cafe in the posh Baghdad Green Zone, but were said to be "pleased" with the outcome of the election. Reports surfaced of
Here at home, smoke is currently pouring out of our state-of-the-art Cray as it checks and cross references numbers, and the AI module of our custom programmed software searches the internets for news archives of prior reports.