The political map of the Sunni forces after the April parliamentary elections seems, at first glance, like an extension of the map before the election, in terms of the weight and influence of the forces. However, what has changed is that the Sunni political forces will be in a more awkward position than ever to describe what alliances they will make to form a government and how they will deal with the promises made before the election.
The results from Iraq's general elections last week are not in yet, but there is already controversy.
Senior Sunni political leaders say the elections cannot be fair, partially due to a low voter turnout in Anbar province.
There has been fierce fighting in the area between Iraq's army and opposition fighters.
Al Jazeera's Imran Khan reports from the outskirts of Anbar province.
Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is reportedly negotiating to form a "partnership government" instead of the "majority government" he has been campaigning for to face rivals who want to ensure that he does not return for a third term .
Media Adviser to Maliki, Ali al-Moussawi, told Al-Hayat newspaper that the State of Law Coalition led by Maliki will try to form a "majority government"; but if it fails it will consider a "partnership government" as last resort.
Iraqi Kurds face uncertainty over whether they will retain the presidency, an important symbol after decades of central government oppression and a link between their autonomous region and Baghdad.
Whether they keep the post after this week’s parliamentary elections is an issue that could deepen the disconnect between Baghdad and the three-province Kurdish region, which are at odds over a string of long-running disputes.
Iraqis defied a rash of attacks that killed 14 people Wednesday and voted in the first general elections since U.S. troops withdrew, with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki proclaiming “certain” victory.
Around 60 percent of the country’s 20 million eligible voters cast their ballots in the poll, which was hailed by the United States and United Nations as a rebuke to jihadists who sought to derail the parliamentary elections.
Iraq Wednesday held its third parliamentary elections since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. The vote was also the first after the withdrawal of the U.S. forces in 2011. Over 22 million voters were eligible to cast their ballots to choose 328 lawmakers out of more than 9,000 candidates.Here’s a look at the major political players and lists in the race:
La formación de un nuevo gobierno en Irak tomará tiempo, tras las elecciones legislativas del miércoles, estimaban analistas y observadores este jueves.
Tras las elecciones legislativas de 2010, las negociaciones entre distintas formaciones políticas para formar un gobierno duraron más de ocho meses.
"Encontrar un compromiso entre sunitas, chiitas y kurdos no es fácil", explicó Ayham Kamel, director para la región Medio Oriente y Africa del Norte de Eurasia Group, una consultora con sede en Nueva York.
Such was Saddam Hussein's charisma that Iraqi men were known to style their moustaches like his, and families named their children as he had his own.
Though thought brutal by some, he was admired by others for his taste in sharp suits and his flamboyant ways. Every Iraqi knew stories about Saddam.
But ask them about their current leader, Nouri al-Maliki - in power since 2006 and perhaps set to secure a third term - and they'll mostly just shrug their shoulders.
The truth is, many Iraqis think he is boring.
When a well-known journalist was shot dead at a checkpoint here last month, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki rushed to the scene. Speaking to a television camera, he promised “blood for blood.”
As Iraq prepares for the first nationwide election since the withdrawal of US troops in 2011, the fears of Sunni Iraqis have doubled amid soaring sectarian tension and marginalization by Nouri Al-Maliki Shiite government.
“I will vote for a change,” Abu Noor, 45-year-old Iraqi Sunni, was quoted by Agence France Presse (AFP) on Tuesday, April 29.
If Maliki won a third term, “we will leave,” he said, adding, “We cannot wait for these people to stay for another four or five years.”
Snipers line the rooftops across Falluja, waiting for a chance to shoot at government soldiers, should they try to invade. Homes have been wired to explode, too, just in case the government rushes the city. And roads have been studded with countless steel-plated bombs, of the type that killed so many American soldiers here.
Nouri al-Maliki is bidding for a third term as Iraqi premier Wednesday without any obvious challenger, in marked contrast to the 2010 election when he faced an ex-premier in a tight race.
Supporters of the prime minister, in power since 2006, have cultivated an image of a strong leader fighting off violent extremists and outside powers.
But his critics have lambasted the 63-year-old Shiite Arab for what they say are insufficient improvements in basic services and pervasive corruption.
Twin bombings at a Shiite political party's rally in Baghdad killed 28 people on Friday, a security spokesman said, just days before nationwide parliamentary elections.
A car bomb followed by a suicide attack hit the campaign rally for the Sadiqun bloc, the political wing of the Asaib Ahel al-Haq militia, interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan said.
Dozens more were wounded, he added.
With fears that women's rights are being eroded in Iraq, prospective female lawmakers are determined to push women's issues to the fore of campaigning for this month's elections.
Despite a constitutional requirement that a quarter of all MPs be women, Iraq lags on key indicators such as female employment and literacy, and there is a bill before parliament that opponents say dramatically curtails women's rights.
The Iraqi parliamentary elections will be held on April 30th at a time when the political arena continues to be marked by an increasing number of conflicts and fragmentation. A number of political blocs are being formed due to many factors, the most prominent of which are the policies of President Nouri Al-Maliki and his investment in the Iraqi state in a way that benefits his Islamic Dawa Party. At the same time, Al-Maliki has also deepened rifts among his political opponents and has worked to link them with cases marked by corruption and laziness.