WASHINGTON, March 17 (UPI) -- The Awakening List of Sunni tribal groups running in Iraqi parliamentary elections made a poor showing despite a U.S. courtship in 2007, results indicate.
Official tallies from the March 7 parliamentary elections in Iraq are beginning to paint a clearer picture of the post-war political landscape.
The Unity of Iraq list, which includes Awakening members, received less than 32,000 votes, giving the secular Iraqiya list of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi a decisive victory with 78 percent of the votes tallied in Anbar province.
The Awakening groups formed part of the so-called surge in 2007 that saw U.S. forces incorporate former Sunni militants in their fight against a rising al-Qaida insurgency in Iraq.
Marc Lynch, an Iraq analyst writing for Foreign Policy magazine, notes that Awakening leaders "may not have found a path to national political power through the ballot box after all."
U.S. analysts, Lynch notes, could see this as a sign that a Sunni-led insurgency may develop again in Iraq. Fears of sectarian violence were sparked by a decision from Shiite leader Ahmed Chalabi to purge several leading Sunni candidates from the ballot.
Lynch, however, says he does not "see any reason yet" to anticipate renewed violence. The Awakening, he writes, failed to deliver on political reforms in Anbar, adding internal fragmentation undermined their influence.
"Being America's man in Anbar doesn't carry quite the weight that it once did, not in the atmosphere of Iraqi nationalism which has permeated the election campaign," he adds.