There were celebrations in Najaf as the Shi’ite-led United Iraqi Alliance was confirmed as the winner of last month’s parliamentary election. The official results released today contained no surprises but they have paved the way for negotiations between Shi’ites, Sunnis and Kurds as there was no overall majority. The alliance won 128 seats, the Kurdish party 53 seats and the main Sunni group, the Iraqi Accord Front – 44. The secular Iraqi National List will have some sway have taken 25 seats.The remaining seats were claimed by the Sunni Iraqi Front for National Dialogue and others parties. Although some Sunni leaders are talking about places in a grand coalition others are angry about what the claim was a rigged ballot. But in Baghdad the mood seemed upbeat. “We as Iraqis are proud of the election which was held in the country,” one man says. “It’s true that some fraud happened but thanks to Goodh the results are good.”
“The results were delayed because there were some problems but they were solved by the government, an all groups and God willing the results are very good,” another man said.International monitors have said the election was largely fair. The US hopes talks will lead to a stable government and accelerate the withdrawal of American troops.