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No Surprises in Early Results For Iraqi Provincial Elections

The results of the latest round of provincial elections in Iraq have failed to defy expectations, with the same political problems persisting, writes Mushreq Abbas.
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, which took place on April 20, did not come as a surprise. Their initial results were within the range of expectations, even if they put forth new facts on the ground and revealed facts that will govern the relationship between the Iraqi parties in the months leading up to the general election in early 2014.

According to the preliminary results of the elections, the State of Law coalition, which is led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and which includes various parties that won in nine Shiite cities in southern Iraq, as well as in Baghdad, while the Mutahidoun bloc, led by parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, won in the two Sunni cities of Diyala and Salahuddin. These cities were allowed to vote after the ballot was postponed in Nineveh and Mosul, in addition to Kirkuk.

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