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Maliki got election assist from Anbar crisis

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki skillfully used the Anbar crisis to deepen the sense of collective danger among Shiite voters.
Iraqi forces walk during a patrol looking for militants from the al Qaeda faction, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), explosives and weapons in a neighbourhood in Ramadi May 14, 2014. Thousands of civilians have fled Falluja since last week after the Iraqi military intensified shelling in a new bid to crush a five-month old Sunni uprising, killing scores of people in what residents describe as massive indiscriminate bombardment. More than 420,000 people have already escaped the two main cities

The “Anbar crisis” was the most prominent issue for Iraqi Shiite voters in the April 30 elections, and was also a key indicator about the sentiment of Sunni voters. This appeared in the electoral discourse of nearly all blocs, especially the bloc of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the State of Law Coalition, which built its electoral campaign on the Anbar crisis.

That the Anbar battles were at the heart of electoral campaigning was not surprising. The continuing Sunni protests of more than a year, their development into bloody clashes with the Iraqi army, Iraqi soldiers being killed at the hands of militants belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and ISIS cutting off the waters of the Euphrates all seemed to be determining factors for the Iraqi elections.

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