Monday, December 19, 2005

Early Iraq Returns Give Shiite Coalition Big Lead

Despite a strong showing by Sunni voters who largely ignored the first elections in Iraq, it appears that the Shiite coalition of Iranian born cleric, Ali al-Sistani has about 58% of the vote. The Sunni candidates are a distant second place, with the moderate secular candidates associated with Ayad Allawi a very weak third place in the voting.

Whether the Sunni population will be satisfied with this level of representation in the permanent government of Iraq and whether they will lay down arms and cooperate peacefully in the democratic process in Iraq remains to be seen.

However if a sense of disappointment sets in, and the Sunni population feels they lack representation, then the path back to conflict could be renewed. But there is a hope that many Sunni citizens will feel that participation in the democratic process is the only proper path for Iraq.

I promise many more opinions on this when the election outcome in Iraq becomes more clear.

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