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Iraqis have recently risked their lives to vote and have placed their faith in the democratic system.

The general elections in Iraq have been hailed by UN observers as fair and transparent.

But now it is taking on a distinctly murky tone as the two main rivals compete for the right to form the next government.

Both Iyad Allawi, Iraq's former prime minister, and Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister of Iraq, have sought to discredit the election by alleging widespread fraud.

Is their push for power undermining Iraq's fledgling democracy? And are the people being let down by their politicians?
Inside Story is joined by Saad al-Muttalibi, a political advisor to the Iraqi Council of Ministers, Sabah al-Mukhtar, the head of the Arab Lawyers Association in the UK, and Scott Lucas, the editor of Enduringamerica.com and professor of Americam Studies at the University of Birmingham.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Tuesday, March 30, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera