Counting Noses in the Iraqi Parliament

The official distribution of seats are in, via the AP:

  • UIA: 128 seats 46.5% (DAWA, SCIRI, Sadrist + a few small Shi’ite dominated parties)
  • Kurdish Coalition: 53 seats 19.3% (PUK, and KDP; both in previous government
  • Iraq Accordance Front: 44 Seats 16% (Sunni Arab anti-US)
  • Iraqi Front for National Dialogue: 11 seats 4% (Sunni Arab, more religious than IAF)
  • Iraqi National List: 25 seats 9.1%(Allawi’s group, secular, cosmopolitan, pro-US/West)
  • Islamic Party of Kurdistan: 5 seats, 1.8% (I know nothing about thees guys besides the party name, probably religiously based — just a guess there though)
  • Other Sunni Arab Parties: 4 seats 1.45%
  • Other Shi’ite Arab Parties: 2 seats .7%
  • Other Parties: 3 seats 1.1%
  • The constitutional rules for Iraq require a 2/3rds majority to approve the Presidential Council (to be replaced by a single president in the next round of parliament). This means 184 yes votes are needed for selection of the Presidential Council. After the 2/3rds approval is granted, there are no other supermajority requirements except for constitutional amendments. So the first question is who forms the 2/3rds Presidential supermajority?

    The UIA and the Kurdish Coalition can put together 181 votes, so they just need to find three more votes from somewhere else. The easiest pick-ups would be the Islamic Party of Kurdistan, or the three seats held by the very small minorities of Turks, Assyrian Christians and and Yazidi. After that picking up the Sunni Arab dominated Iraqi Front for National Dialogue could provide the needed votes.

    There are hundreds of possible coaltion arrangements, and dozens of probable tweaks and twists possible. These options do not need to include the Sunni Arab representatives in any significant or meaningful fashion. If that is the implemented case, then the political process as a means of significantly splintering or weakening the insurgency will have been a failure.

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