Two years after the US-led invasion, Iraqis are waiting to find out the results of Sunday’s multi-party elections. But leading Sunni clerics have declared that any government that emerges will lack legitimacy. The reason given by the Association of Muslim Scholars was that so much of Iraq’s Sunni Arab population boycotted the election – a move the clerics had called for beforehand. Spokesman Dr. Mohammed Bashar al-Feidhi said: “We cannot participate in the drafting of a constitution written under occupation.”
Yesterday Iraq’s interim President Ghazi al-Yawar highlighted problems with Sunday’s election, saying tens of thousands of people were denied a vote in Baghdad, Basra and Najaf because there were not enough ballot papers. The ballots that were cast are still being counted and final results are expected early next week. The United Iraqi Alliance, endorsed by the senior Shi’ite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, is expected to dominate the 275-member National Assembly, followed by the Kurdish parties and a list headed by interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.