Here is an excerpt from an interesting AP story on the voting results of Iraqi expats in the US . Surprisingly, Christians finished strong. It highlights how many of Iraq s Christians were driven from Iraq and are scattered around the world, including the US .
Christian Slate Wins Narrow Plurality In U.S. Expat Voting
McLean , Va. (AP) – A slate representing Assyrian and Chaldean Christians took the top spot among U.S. expatriates who cast ballots in Iraq ‘s parliamentary elections, narrowly defeating a Shiite Muslim religious bloc.
The National Rafidain List received 6,857 votes, or 26 percent, in unofficial results from last week’s balloting, Talal Ibrahim, deputy coordinator for the U.S. vote, said Monday. The United Iraqi Alliance, a Shiite coalition that includes Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, received 6,780 votes, or 25 percent.
The results mark a turnaround from January, when U.S. voters also participated in elections to establish an interim Iraqi parliament. In those elections, the Shiite party finished first with 32 percent of the vote and the Christian party was second with 29 percent of the vote.
The Kurdish Alliance List finished third with 4,351 votes, or 16 percent – comparable to its results back in January.
Another primarily Christian slate, the Al Nahrain National List, finished fifth among U.S. expatriates, with 3,261 votes, or 12 percent.
James Zogby, a pollster and president of the Arab American Institute, said it is not surprising that the Shiite coalition lost some support since January, now that the Shiites have been in power and some have been dissatisfied with the government’s performance. He also said it is not surprising that Allawi’s secular party, a main rival to the Shiites, might benefit as a result.
Voting at the McLean site broke down as follows: Kurdish Alliance List, 977 votes (48 percent); United Iraqi Alliance, 464 votes (23 percent); Allawi’s party, known as the National Iraqi List, 235 votes (12 percent); Tawafoq Iraqi Front, a Sunni Muslim coalition, 83 votes (4 percent).