Dulaimi leads a large Sunni bloc
A top Sunni politician has praised Thursday's poll, saying his party will work for "a strong coalition that will protect the rights of Iraqis".
If Iraq can move from decades of brutal repression and meat grinders as instruments of politics to a true democracy with respect for individual rights, America will have been part of A Really Good Thing. American soldiers deserve more credit than I can possibly give them.
Like any experiment in democracy, the results are ongoing and any judgment is temporary. They've traded brutal stability for uncertain freedom. It's a good trade. Now comes forming a coalition government. If the attitude expressed by the Sunni leader is sincere, I think they have a reasonable chance of pulling it off.
The election even had a Chicago flair:
There have been complaints about the vote, which won international praise.
Some supporters of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi have said there were irregularities, including ballots cast in the name of dead people.
Most critical of all, attraction to the ballot box instead of the car bomb seems to have reached every major segment of the Iraqi population.
Turnout was high, not only among Kurds and Shias - who have been enthusiastic supporters of the post-Saddam order - but also among Sunnis.