The NYT says that the Iraqi election is very close. Michael Hanna has more on the contest:

Within Iraq’s parliamentary structure, the presidency was conceived as a largely ceremonial role, and its clearly-delineated substantive powers were transitory in nature.  With the expiration of the tripartite Presidency Council, which is composed currently of a Kurd, a Shiite and a Sunni, and its legislative veto, the role of the presidency might take on even greater substantive powers due to the murky constitutional guidance on the actual powers of the presidency. With no upper house of parliament in place resulting in an unchecked parliament, the incoming president will almost certainly test the bounds of his power to review and potentially veto legislation. In this sense, it is hard yet to know how significant the new president will be.  

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