ByÂ Ben Birnbaum-The Washington Times
“It will be a government of partnership,”Â Mr. al-Maliki, a Shiite who has been prime minister since 2006, said in a televised ceremony. “Nobody will be neglected.”
The long-awaited action helps imbed the democratic principle in the country that theÂ U.S. invaded in 2003 and from which theÂ U.S. is preparing to remove all of its troops by the end of 2011.Â U.S. combat troops were removed in August, even asÂ Iraq‘s major political players dickered over forming the next government.
TheÂ sectarian Iraqi National Alliance â€” a coalition of Shiite parties â€” won 70 seats, 40 of them belonging to the followers of radical Shiite clericÂ Muqtada al-Sadr. TheÂ main Kurdish alliancewon 43 seats, and three smaller Kurdish parties gained 14.
But theÂ incumbent’s postelection alliance with his erstwhile partners in theÂ Iraqi National Alliance, with whom he split before the vote â€” as well as the Sadrists’ recent acquiescence to his renomination â€” ultimately gave him the upper hand.
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