Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A setback for local democracy in Iraq

In most democratic systems, the presumption is that your party's victory in the polls entitles it to leadership. However, in Nineveh province in northern Iraq, the Kurdish parties who finished second are demanding that the newly ascendant Sunni Arab party al-Hadba cede to them two of the top three leadership positions in the new assembly. Perhaps this is some opening gambit in what the Kurds see as a negotiation process. But it's going to prevent the provincial assembly from getting down to any real business in the immediate future - and it's going to undermine whatever sense of promise the local population may have invested in their new democracy.

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