6,278. 1/30/2005

“The results [of Iraq’s first democratic election, held on January 30, 2005] mirrored turnout. A coalition of Shiite parties endorsed by Grand Ayatollah [Ali] al-Sistani won 48 percent of the vote. The two major Kurdish parties picked up a combined 26 percent, and a bloc led by interim prime minister Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite, got almost 14 percent. The few Sunnis who ran fared miserably: a party headed by interim president Ghazi al-Yawar won less than 2 percent, and a coalition formed by former foreign minister Adnan Pachachi didn’t get enough votes to pick up a single seat in the 275-member National Assembly. All told, Sunni Arabs, who comprised about 20 percent of Iraq’s population, wound up with fewer than 8 percent of the seats in the legislature. [Former Director of the Coalition Provisional Authority L. Paul] Bremer’s single-district electoral law had shut the Sunnis out of the new government, depriving the Americans, and the Iraqis, of a valuable opportunity to win over Sunnis and weaken the insurgency.”

 – Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, Page 297

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