Chalabi may be shut out of Iraqi Assembly

Dec. 27, 2005 at 10:12 AM

BAGHDAD, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- One-time U.S.-favored Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi is unlikely to win enough votes to join the new Iraqi Assembly, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

With 95 percent of a preliminary tally from the Dec. 15 vote completed, Chalabi remained almost 8,000 votes short of the 40,000 minimum needed for him or his bloc to win a single seat in the 275-seat National Assembly, election officials said.

Chalabi's supporters had hoped he would do well among exile voters who were allowed to cast ballots overseas. But results released Monday showed he received 0.89 percent of the special vote.

Even if he fails to reach the plateau to gain a seat, a spokesman, Haider Mousawi, told the newspaper Chalabi would not be idle.

"What I can say is Dr. Chalabi will have an important role, whether in the government or outside,'' Mousawi said.

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