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Iraq: let the bargaining begin

As Iraq settles in for the sizzling summer heat, the political temperature looks set to stay high well into autumn and possibly winter as well

The results of the recent parliamentary elections were unequivocal in one sense, but extremely messy in another. While Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Sairoon group won the most seats—54 out of 329—he won't be able to form a government on his own. Weeks, possibly months, of political bargaining lie ahead, Before all that can begin in earnest, the post-election constitutional course has to be followed, with the choice of a speaker of parliament and then a federal president. There's no guarantee that this process will remain clear of obstacles that could delay progress. Then, assuming that Sadr tries to form a coalition, there's the question of which parties he'll seek to align with. The cleri



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