On March 30, 2010, Ambassador Hill participated in a video conference briefing to discuss the March 7 Iraq national elections. Ambassador Hill said:
"I thought I would just keep opening remarks very brief. I think most people know the overall situation here. It's now almost three weeks since the elections. We've had an unofficial complete tally of the elections, which has yielded the plurality of seats to Iraqiya, some 91 seats. Coming in second was Mr. Maliki's State of Law coalition with 89 seats.
"A big question is whether these coalitions, when they are finally seated in the parliament -- we expect that sometime in the end of April -- will they -- will there be some reconfiguration. It is possible that there'll be some increase of one coalition or the other, so it may be that someone besides Iraqiya is actually given the first opportunity to form the government. For example, if Mr. Maliki's coalition is able to merge with another element, they could end up with more seats than Iraqiya and therefore they would have the first crack at forming a coalition.
"I should say though that the issue of constructing a government, the issue of putting together broader coalitions in order to get over 50 percent of the seats in the parliament, has already begun. And everybody is talking to everybody. There is every imaginable combination, so I think we're obviously following it very closely. We've got our ear to the ground, but I think you really do need to stay tuned.
"As for the level of violence, there have been some incidents. There was one in Karbala yesterday which involved two car bombs. But overall, the level of incidents is very consistent with recent months, indeed with the recent year. So there does not appear to be any uptick in violence at this time."
Read the transcript of Ambassador Hill's briefing here.
Related Entry:Observing Elections in Iraq