"…the prime minister has been contesting the results of the March 7 vote. State of Law has appealed the outcome in Iraq's courts and now, Allawi's bloc says, Al-Maliki is using state security forces in a bid to gain enough seats to emerge the winner.
This week, at least two winning Iraqiya candidates in the capital were told they are wanted, bloc officials and the candidates said. Two others are on the run in the mixed Sunni-Shiite province of Diyala, and another was detained before the elections.
Sunni Arabs see the victory by Allawi, a secular Shiite, as their own. Many Iraqis and analysts worry that Sunnis will feel cheated if Allawi loses his lead before the new parliament is certified, a development that could spark retaliatory violence just as U.S. troops are drawing down to a mandated 50,0000 by summer's end." Partlow
OK. There is more than one way to "skin a cat." If you can't win a plurality (satisfied?) in the election then you can always drive enough of the victors into hiding to shift the balance.
Am I discouraged by this naughtiness? No. The Iraqi electorate came out of the shadows to vote its interests and managed to elect a true nationalist slate to a plurality in spite of the machinations of Ahmad Chalabi that hero of the Wolfowitzians. (That sounds like something from Gulliver)
Maliki should think this over carefully. His obvious coalition partner is Allawi and the 'Iraqqiya group. That path leads to relative calm and a modernist independent Iraq. A religious Shia coalition in these circumstances will lead back into the abyss. pl