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Quick fixes unlikely for Iraq after election: experts

An Iraqi man reads a local newspaper the day after results revealed that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki won the most seats in parliamentary elections, in Baghdad on May 20, 2014Strong election results may deliver a third term for incumbent premier Nuri al-Maliki, but few of Iraq’s intractable problems, from brutal violence to fragile sectarian ties, appear closer to resolution, experts say. Iraq’s security forces are mired in near-daily clashes with militants in western Iraq, to say nothing of regular attacks elsewhere in the country, while corruption has run rampant and unemployment remains high. Meanwhile, a lack of electoral success for secular cross-sectarian alliances could further contribute to worsening communal relations, fuelling fears Iraq may slip back into the all-out conflict that plagued it years ago. “It is a positive that the elections actually took place, especially given the difficult conditions Iraq is going through,” said Fanar Haddad, a research fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute.

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