Elections are proving good for Malaki - bad for the other smaller parties. Lots of malpractice, people voting twice, huge swathes of people left off the register - allegedly "BY ACCIDENT":
Stafford writes: Iraq continues to sort itself out through a mess of power struggles that supercede the good governance citizens need and deserve.
Below is a synopsis of an analysis worth careful reading and considering. The full 5-page report (pdf) is available for downloading through the link indicated.
Excerpt: "It is not yet clear how well the vast majority of those candidates who are elected in this election will actually do in office. For many, it will be a learning experience—to put it mildly. It will also be an sobering—in not grim—experience in dealing with a central government that has deep divisions of its own, has deep elements of factionalism and corruption, often acts to the narrow advantage of its leaders, and which has not demonstrated the capability to allocate its budget effectively, much less actually spend it."
Center for Strategic & International Studies
2 Feb 09
download full 5-page report at: http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/090202_cordesman_iraq.pdf
Commentary: Keeping the Iraqi Elections in Perspective
Synopsis:Iraqis have good reasons to celebrate the conduct of their local and provincial elections. They have taken place with a minimum of violence and with relatively high levels of participation. Iraqi forces provided most of the security for the first time, and a wide range of candidates ran on the basis of representing their constituents, rather than as part of lists that polarized the country into choosing Shi’ite Arab, Sunni Arab, and Kurd. These also were clearly Iraqi elections; no one can credibly accuse them of having been stage managed or manipulated by the United States.