The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
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The Land of the Purple Finger Bucking the Odds

As Egypt “counts its votes” and Syria prepares for its own bogus elections in early June, a real and highly consequential democratic process continues into a critical phase in another Arab country where such a thing was for decades even more unlikely: Iraq.

Published on May 30, 2014
By far the most important thing about the preliminary results of Iraq’s April 30 parliamentary election is the nature of the conversation that is now taking place about them. It is a conversation about what it means for a sitting Prime Minister when he wins less than 30 percent of the vote but does much better than his rivals—and about whether Iraq’s next government should be one of broad national unity or formed on the basis of a simple majority. It is a conversation about deliciously esoteric and endlessly iterative matters of parliamentary arithmetic in a place where no...