Iraq's main Shi'ite alliance, United Iraqi Alliance, won 47 percent of the votes, falling short of the 60 percent needed to hold a majority in the 275-member National Assembly. A Kurdish alliance came second with 25 percent, while a grouping led by interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi came third with 13 percent of the votes.
Each of the top three winning groups is scrambling to create the right coalitions with the right number of partners. Both the United Iraqi Alliance and the Kurds want their candidates to be the next prime minister of Iraq. Meanwhile, the Sunnis, who make up about 20 percent of Iraq's 27 million people but had a low voter turnout, will be under-represented in the new National Assembly.
Hear a discussion about the biggest issues facing Iraqis after the election and how the country's political factions will have to resolve the challenges ahead.
John Diamond, Baghdad based correspondent for USA Today
Shakir Mustafa, assistant professor of Arabic at Boston University
Laith Kubba, Senior Program officer for the Middle East at the National Endowment for Democracy
Najmaldin Karim, president of the Washington Kurdish Institute.
This program aired on February 14, 2005.