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Thread: Prime minister warns of violence, but election board rejects call for recount

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    Prime minister warns of violence, but election board rejects call for recount

    Things are looking kind of dicey in ole Iraq. As usual it seems there are strong sentiments on the part of the currently ruling party to stay in power. On the one hand, this seems standard for Iraq, but on the other hand, this is really the first PM to PM transfer of power. As always, they will keep it interesting.

    It does call into question our accelerated withdrawal schedule.

    washingtonpost.com

    BAGHDAD -- As new results from this month's election continued to show a neck-and-neck race, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday issued a strongly worded warning that without a nationwide recount, the country could descend into violence. The electoral commission quickly rejected the request, saying a recount would be neither necessary nor feasible.

    Maliki's statement, in which he pointedly invoked his role as "Commander in Chief of the armed forces," alarmed some U.S. and Iraqi officials who worry Maliki is laying the groundwork to stay in office even if he does not win a plurality of the vote. Maliki's party has alleged the vote counting has been marred by fraud.

    Maliki, a Shiite who is increasingly isolated politically, is in a tight contest with secular Shiite Ayad Allawi, who draws his support largely from Sunnis. Allawi's strong performance threatens the control that Kurds and religious Shiite politicians hold on government power.

    The United States is hoping for a peaceful transfer of authority as it draws down to 50,000 troops this summer from the current level of 96,000.

    Maliki and his allies "think they're losing, and they have no intention of giving up their regime," said a U.S. military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject. "These are people who were exiled and who've risen to power almost overnight because we brought them back to power. Now they're going to lose that relative lock on power through these elections. This is not sounding like the peaceful transfer of power is about to occur."
    No matter the final results, the nation is so polarized between Maliki and Allawi that the losing side is likely to feel cheated.

    In Najaf on Sunday, hundreds of people took to the streets in support of Maliki's demand for a recount. They waved placards accusing the electoral commission of fraud.

    "All of Iraq voted for Maliki, so how can we believe that Allawi received more votes than Maliki?" asked tribal leader Abdul Hussein Kashish, who was among the demonstrators. "This is an attempt to pull the rug from under the Shiites."

    But in the predominantly Sunni province of Anbar, people were angered by Maliki's statement and worried that their voice would once again be lost. Most Sunnis did not vote in the 2005 elections, but they turned out in significant numbers this time.

    "Is Maliki asking us to go back to fighting and leave the authority and politics for them?" asked Khaleel Abdulla, 50, a former Sunni insurgent. "We have left the insurgency because the U.S. promised political gains, and today they tried to steal these gains from us."
    Last edited by reefedjib; 03-22-10 at 09:58 AM.

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    Re: Prime minister warns of violence, but election board rejects call for recount

    This is a pretty huge story, and I'm surprised it's not getting more play in the news. Here's hoping there's a peaceful resolution.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: Prime minister warns of violence, but election board rejects call for recount

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    This is a pretty huge story, and I'm surprised it's not getting more play in the news. Here's hoping there's a peaceful resolution.
    Very few people give a crap about how well Iraq is doing unless it buttresses their hyper-partisan arguments. Look at the lack of popularity of Iraqi new articles seen on these forums.

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    Re: Prime minister warns of violence, but election board rejects call for recount

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    This is a pretty huge story, and I'm surprised it's not getting more play in the news. Here's hoping there's a peaceful resolution.

    If things go South, don't expect there to be any play in the media.... that would go against the Administrations goal of getting out, and we all know we can't have that.
    There is no such thing as a “Natural Born Dual-Citizen“.

    Originally Posted by PogueMoran
    I didnt have to read the article to tell you that you cant read.

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    Re: Prime minister warns of violence, but election board rejects call for recount

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Very few people give a crap about how well Iraq is doing unless it buttresses their hyper-partisan arguments. Look at the lack of popularity of Iraqi new articles seen on these forums.
    It's also strange because I feel like it's carried over into much of the rest of the world. When I first saw an article about this a couple days ago, I googled Allawi to see what I could find out about him. I went to his wiki page: [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayad_Allawi]Ayad Allawi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] and I had the hardest time figuring out if it was the same guy. Why? Because there's absolutely nothing about the most recent election on his page. Can you imagine if a few days after a presidential election, the leading candidate's wiki article was still only current through 2005?
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: Prime minister warns of violence, but election board rejects call for recount

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    It's also strange because I feel like it's carried over into much of the rest of the world. When I first saw an article about this a couple days ago, I googled Allawi to see what I could find out about him. I went to his wiki page: Ayad Allawi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and I had the hardest time figuring out if it was the same guy. Why? Because there's absolutely nothing about the most recent election on his page. Can you imagine if a few days after a presidential election, the leading candidate's wiki article was still only current through 2005?
    Wiki out of date!? That is strange.

    I knew he was the same guy several weeks back when I went to the talk on the Iraqi Elections, that I reported about here. Admittedly there was a little interest in that thread, from cpwill if memory serves.

    Well, Allawi is the ex-PM from 2005 and his party, Iraqiyyah, a Sunni party, is tied for first place with Maliki's Dawa/State of Law party, a Shia party (the current PM). The dynamics of coalition and alliance between the top four parties is very interesting. A competitor Shia party to State of Law, is the Iraq National Alliance led by ICSI (the old SCIRI) led by al'Hakim. Then there is the Kurdish Alliance. If Allawi can get KA and INA to a coalition, it is a done deal and Maliki will have to step down.

    Maliki evidently does not want to step down.
    Last edited by reefedjib; 03-22-10 at 05:27 PM.

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    Re: Prime minister warns of violence, but election board rejects call for recount

    Voice of America video: [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51NBsX30CO8"]YouTube- VOA_11MAR.wmv[/ame]

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