"Saleh Mutlaq, head of one of the two major Sunni lists, said he was resigned to the fact that the Sunnis would win far fewer seats than they wanted. Mutlaq accused the United Iraqi Alliance of sending Shiite militiamen to the polls to hover over voters and said imams at many Shiite mosques told the faithful "they would go to hell if they didn’t vote for the UIA."
"I want to send a message to the [Bush] administration that this election is going to lead to disaster in Iraq," said Mutlaq, who added that he would boycott the parliament unless Sunnis or secular Shiites were awarded some of the most important ministries, such as interior and defense. "I want the Americans to review this election and cancel it."
With most of the vote counted in 11 provinces, Sunnis were ahead only in Salahuddin, while the Shiite bloc was leading by huge margins in seven provinces. For example, in the Maysan province, the United Iraqi Alliance had 86.6 percent of the vote, while Allawi’s slate was the next closest with 4.3 percent." Chicago Tribune
Am I being sarcastic in the titling here?
Yes, I am.
Yesterday, I wrote that I hoped a formula had been found to foster a political coalition among the non-clerical factions in Iraq. If there was such a plan, it has failed miserably.
Across the country early returns show a tidal wave of support for the religiously dominated Shia political alliance. They will have nearly a majority of seats in the parliament and will dominate the ministries. Women’s rights will suffer further erosion. The Sunni Arabs will brood over their "grievances." The war in the Sunni heartland will go on.
Yes! Another triumph for democracy, yet another exemplar of the sacramental, beneficent and transformative effect of elections in a society in which group identity and ethno-religious rivalry are at the heart of things.
"One man, one vote, one time?"