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Last Updated: Monday, 14 February, 2005, 12:05 GMT
Press anxiety over post-election Iraq
World press graphic

Papers in many countries contemplate Iraq's post-election future with trepidation. While there is still some celebration that polling was held at all, dailies in Iraq, the region and further afield urge politicians to act responsibly to avoid sectarian strife.

Although the results have not come up with surprises they have actually drawn up Iraq's new political map. Now the political parties know their weight... However, those who have won the majority of votes should consider this as a responsibility. Each vote added in favour of a political party is in fact an added responsibility.

Editorial in Iraq's Al-Adalah

A powerful government is needed to preserve respect for the state and its unity. However, its legitimacy should be gained from people's consent and approval. It should be a just power; otherwise it will become a brute force having nothing more to offer than an iron fist and dictatorial rule.

Editorial in Iraq's Baghdad

When Iraqis cast their votes ... they considered that day an exceptional moment in their lives. They have the right to be proud and happy. It is now the duty of the winners to lead the march in the right direction.

Commentary in UK-based Arabic Al-Hayat

Whoever thought the election would be a magic wand that will rescue the country is wrong. The dust of the elections will settle after a few days or weeks, then the truth will emerge.

Commentary in UK-based Arabic Al-Quds Al-Arabi

The announcement of the Iraqi elections results is the beginning of a new stage. Dealing with these results requires a great deal of political wisdom.

Editorial in Qatar's Al-Rayah

The Iraqis have made a great step despite all the dangers. For this reason they are in need now more than ever of support.

Editorial in Jordan's Al-Dustur

The ongoing political and religious talks in Iraq between Shia, Sunni and Kurds is a clear indication of the dangers ahead. It is important to continue talks before drafting the constitution to prevent mistakes.

Editorial in Saudi Al-Watan

The Iraqi elections results reveal inequality ... as the distribution of state positions ranging from the presidency, premiership and parliament will be along sectarian lines.

Editorial in Saudi Al-Riyadh

Iran can use its influence on the Shias and design a new diplomacy in order to achieve its security and regional objectives.

Editorial in Iran's Mardom-Salary

Certainly Islam will be the single source of legislation in the Iraqi new constitution. It is Ayatollah Sistani's main demand.

Editorial in Iran's Hamsahri

Post-election Iraq is like a computer game full of traps. In every phase, it is full of predictable and unpredictable obstacles.

Commentary in Turkish Hurriyet

The time has now begun in Iraq for real political games. The main task will be the adoption of a constitution. To achieve consensus on a basic law, after excluding Sunnis from the process, will simply be impossible.

Commentary in Russia's Nezavisimaya Gazeta

The outcome has confirmed our worries that the elected parliament will not satisfactorily stabilize the political situation. With the decisive domination of Shias and Kurds, Sunnis have been pushed aside even further.

Article in Poland's Trybuna

The Shia alliance was elected by 48 per cent. That may be enough to govern, but it is very little on which to build a democracy. It is worth remembering that the best way of retaining power is often to begin by sharing it.

Article in France's Liberation

The Sunnis must not become tomorrow's oppressed because this would strengthen the rebels and might provoke civil war.

Article in Germany's Die Welt

Either the Shias... use their new power with generosity, or the country will be doomed to suffer the current tension which prepares the ground for a civil war fanned by Sunni dissenters.

Editorial in Spain's El Mundo

This historic revenge of the Shias over Sunnis heralds a future filled with uncertainty.

Editorial in Spain's La Razon

It is the end of a long fasting for the Shias. 'Fasting' that was motivated by the boycott encouraged by Shia leaders in the 1924 elections - mirrored, this time round, by the Sunnis.

Comment in Portugal's Diario de Noticias

Shia political parties coming on stage was certainly what the US most hoped not to see, but it has no choice but to accept the situation.

Report in China's Renmin Ribao

If the powers of the Shias in Iraq and Iran unite, US plans to defeat Tehran will certainly face obstacles.

Article in Malaysia's Berita Harian

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

Iraq Shias move to form coalition
14 Feb 05 |  Middle East
Analysis: Shia Iraq reaps reward
13 Feb 05 |  Middle East

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