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Building an Iraqi coalition is part of democracy

by Pauline Lejeune // Published March 25, 2010 in The National

With reference to Tony Karon’s opinion article Flawed system will breed continuous instability in Iraq (March 21st): as Iraq’s election results unfold, it has become clear that the victorious political alliance, either Ayad Allawi’s Iraqi National Movement or Nouri al Maliki’s State of Law, will only have a marginal lead and fall short of an outright majority. But, contrary to Tony Karon’s commentary, this does not mean that Iraq’s democratic process is a failure.

Such a level of competition must be read as a success. Iraq’s use of proportional representation ensures that each ethnic and political group is fairly represented in the parliament.

Furthermore, the coalition-building process is creating space for political debates that have to overcome sectarian rifts to determine the country’s future.

Democracy is a long-term process and Iraq’s is fledgling but undeniably working, making room for healthy debates needed for a stable country.

Pauline Lejeune, US