Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki got the backing of Iraq's main Shiite bloc today, leaving him within four seats of the majority needed to form a new government.
Nearly three months after the March 7 Iraq election, Iraqis are waiting for 100,000 new jobs to be filled and face backlogs in everything from obtaining permits to registering for pensions. Some complain their vote was 'worthless.'
Seventeen gunmen killed 14 people in a series of thefts from a gold jewelry market in Baghdad. The brazen daylight attack was seen as another sign of deteriorating security in Iraq.
Ahead of Iraq election results due today, the main challenger to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki – Ayad Allawi – has been criticized for his mother's Lebanese citizenship and his ties to the CIA, with some comparing an Allawi victory to the Nazi gains in 1930s Germany.
With 80 percent of the Iraq election votes counted, Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki is neck and neck with former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Even if Maliki wins the popular vote, he may not be able to hold together a coalition government.
Despite attacks, triumphant moments unfolded across the country as Iraqis dipped their fingers in purple ink and cast ballots in the Iraq election. Results and voter turnout are not expected for at least another day.
Though several more bombs underscored the persistent insurgent threat to the Iraq election, the attitude among security forces – many of whom couldn't safely wear their uniform in public three years ago – was light-hearted.
Iraqi election officials are scrambling to address the complaints of security officials in the mostly Sunni Anbar province, who said that the names of thousands of police and military personnel were missing from polling stations or were registered at voting sites up to 250 miles away.