As the Independent Higher Electoral Commission (IHEC) continues the difficult task of counting Iraqis’ votes, the post-election political scene remained fractured as parties began the potentially lengthy process of forming a coalition that will then form a government. Speaking to reporters one day after the elections, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki repeated claims that his State of Law coalition had secured victory, adding that he had already secured enough support to build a coalition government. Maliki’s allies had earlier claimed that the State of Law coalition had secured at least 90 seats in parliament, and the prime minister had told reporters that “we have an ability to pass the 165 seat mark,” the threshold required to form a majority government.
“We are confident that we will achieve a political majority,” Maliki added. However the prime minister is facing a difficult task, particularly after Shi’ite allies abandoned him in the run up to the elections.
Maliki was able to secure a second term in office in 2010 only after forming a National Alliance comprising the Sadrist Movement and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI).
Both parties have strongly criticized Maliki’s leadership in recent months, and particular his handling of the security crisis that has engulfed the country, in particular the western province of Anbar.