Two weeks after millions of Iraqis cast their first free vote in over fifty years, the results are now in. A coalition of Shi'ite Islamic parties won 48 percent of the vote, less than the 60 percent expected. Since a two-thirds majority is needed to form a government, the coalition, dominated by the United Iraqi alliance, will need the support of other parties in order to govern as a majority. The United Iraqi Alliance is headed by two religious Shi'ite parties: the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and Dawa. It also has close ties to its neighbor, Iran.
Doug Struck, Washington Post reporter, in Baghdad; profiled Shiite leader Adel Abdul Mahdi, who may be Iraq's new prime minister
Larry Diamond, senior fellow, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; advised the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, January to April 2004
Juan Cole, professor of Modern Middle Eastern history at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; author, Sacred Space and Holy War: The Politics, Culture, and History of Shiite Islam