163. This is the number of seats needed by a political party to form a government. After the elections on 7 March 2010 the secular Sunni Iraqiyya alliance (headed by former premier Iyad Allawi) won 91 seats. The mainly Shia coalition (led by the outgoing Prime Minister, Nouri Maliki) won 89 and the Kurds won 57 seats. No party won an outright majority and the country is locked in political stalemate.
With regards to coalition building, William Morris predicts that the future government in Iraq will be a coalition between Allawi and Malaki with support from the Kurds (Jalal Talabani remains the President). Both Allawi and Malaki want a more centralized Iraqi state and they have a common Arab nationalist outlook. They also have the American seal of approval. The opposition party will be made up of a coalition between Hakim and Sadr who together form the Iraq National Alliance (INA) (which is a coalition of Shia parties).
The lack of political progress is creating uncertainty In Iraq and there are fears that this may reignite the sectarian violence that was so pervasive back in 2006. However democracy is thriving in Iraq, and Iraqis know how to assert their democratic rights.