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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Good news from Iraq reported by John Burns and Terence Neilan in the New York Times

Sunni Arabs reached agreement today with the major Shiite alliance over increased Sunni representation on the committee that will draft the Iraqi constitution.
Negotiators were jubilant. "I think today everyone is happy," said Bahaa al-Aaraji, a senior Shiite member on the committee and one of those who negotiated the deal. "Everything is good now. We agreed."


The American military, meanwhile, said today that coalition forces had captured the leader of Al Qaeda in the Mosul region, in northern Iraq, on Tuesday. He was described as the most trusted operations agent in all of Iraq of the terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

On such a day only a total twit would quibble. I am that total twit.
Burns and Neilan write "the United Iraqi Alliance, made up of the leading Shiite parties, which holds 48 percent of seats in the National Assembly."

Not quite. The United Iraqi Alliance received 48% of the votes in the national assembly election. However, even with proportional representation the division of seats is not exactly equal to the division of votes as microscopic parties whose votes correspond to less than one half seat are excluded. The United Iraqi alliance won 51% of the seats in the National Assembly not 48% (there have been some defections from the alliance so they hold less than 51% but still more than 48%).

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