Outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki looks on course to win Iraq’s parliamentary elections. Held last month the preliminary results are giving al-Maliki, in power for the last eight years at least 94 seats, nearly double his two main rivals combined.
The size of the win, if confirmed, enhances his claim to be the unchallenged ruler of the Shi’ite majority.
Previously this authority had to deal with a considerable counterweight, but Muqtada al-Sadr only picked up 28 seats while the Islamic Supreme Council got 29 as their Shi’ite challenge crumbled.
Maliki will still need support to get a majority in the 328-seat chamber
where it is unclear how the 62-seat Kurdish block will vote.
However security remains the most pressing issue as al-Maliki continues his five-month long strategy of attacking the Sunni Islamic State of Iraq armed group, and tackling terrorist attacks.