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Iraqi election could lead to partition

Iraqi parties across the political spectrum seek to break Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s monopoly on the central government.
Employees of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) count ballots during the Iraqi parliamentary elections in Baghdad April 30, 2014. Iraqis head to the polls on Wednesday in their first national election since U.S. forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011 as Prime Minister Nuri Maliki seeks a third term amid rising violence. REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili (IRAQ - Tags: ELECTIONS POLITICS) - RTR3NAHT
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Today, with the country locked in a fateful election, the parties to Iraq's conflict are using the issue of partition to threaten their opponents — and the electorate.

Two key approaches will determine the Iraqi elections and the country’s unity. One is led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who thinks that the current elections should produce a strong majority government that preserves the power of the central government. This is an implicit threat that a different kind of government, one that doesn’t include a third term for Maliki, would mean that Iraq will be lost in the political and geographic bickering, subject to the whims of the “partitionists” and that the country will split into political fiefdoms that will eventually secede.

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