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Iraqi Political Blocs Ponder Provincial Election Results

As Iraq’s major political blocs count their gains and losses in the recently held provincial elections, Mustafa al-Kadhimi looks forward to what the future holds for politics in Iraq.
Employees of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) take part in vote counting at an analysis center in Baghdad April 23, 2013. Voter participation in Iraq's provincial election on Saturday was 50 percent of eligible voters, the country's electoral authorities said after poll stations closed. Election officials said including results from a special vote a week earlier for members of the armed forces, total participation would be more than 51 percent. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS E
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The results of the local elections in Iraq are not the end of the road. The bigger test facing the Iraqi political forces will come after the emergence of the local results and the discovery of the changes that have taken place on the political map and which indicate larger variables to come.

Regardless of the reasons behind the change in the political map — be it in the popular position of the main political forces or in the electoral law — the fact remains that not only have the results of the recent local elections in Iraq reduced the space occupied by the parties that led local governments in Iraqi cities for years, but they also introduced to the political game a considerable set of new forces and independent figures. These figures would not have stood a chance of competing with major forces had it not been for the amendment of the electoral law.

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