An alliance of mainly Shi’ite Islamist candidates has won nearly half the vote in Iraq’s election. Two weeks after the country’s first multi-party elections in half a century, the final tally has been released. The United Iraqi Alliance – supported by Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani – took 48 percent of the vote – less than had been expected. A coalition of Iraq’s main Kurdish parties was second with 25 percent of the vote and a bloc led by interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi was third with 14 percent.
Turnout was 59 percent although it appears that few Sunni Arabs voted. That means the minority that dominated under Saddam Hussein will have few seats in the soon-to-be-formed National Assembly giving it little political influence.