The following is an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government:
Iraq's Independent Electoral Commission has certified the results of the elections for a transitional national assembly. The Shiite-backed United Iraqi Alliance won one-hundred-forty of two-hundred-seventy-five seats. Iraqi Kurdish political parties won seventy-five seats, while a broadly based alliance led by interim prime minister Iyad Allawi gained forty seats. The other twenty seats will be held by a combination of smaller parties.
In all, eight-and-a-half million Iraqi men and women went to the polls. While the United Iraqi Alliance will be the largest party in the new assembly, it will not have the two-thirds majority required to choose a government. Nor will the Alliance be able to draft a new constitution on its own. Compromise with the other major parties will be necessary. The constitution will have to be approved by voters in at least sixteen of Iraq's eighteen provinces.
Mowaffak al-Rubaie, a member of the United Iraqi Alliance, is currently serving as Iraq's national security advisor. He says, "We are heading toward formation of a national reconciliation government. And we are going to spare no time in including all communities: Sunnis, Shia, Arab, and Kurds and Turkomans and ChaldoAssyrians, Assyrians and Sabians. All of them," says Mr. al-Rubaie, "are going to be included in this transitional national assembly as well as in the transitional government."
Barham Saleh, an Iraqi Kurd and deputy prime minister, says, "This has been a long, arduous journey for us, to be accepted in the capital of Iraq and as national players." And interim prime minister Allawi says, "It is a time for all Iraqis to come together to build our future." President George W. Bush says the election "was a historic opportunity for the people of Iraq to choose a new government":
"Across Iraq. . . .men and women have taken rightful control of their country's destiny, and they have chosen a future of freedom and peace."
"There's more distance to travel on the road to democracy," says Mr. Bush. "Yet Iraqis are proving they're equal to the challenge."