1. Vacuum

    Iraq Sets Mark for Time Without Gov't

    Karim Kadim / AP Photo

    Remember those Iraqi elections nearly seven months ago? Iraq seems like it doesn’t. A parliamentary election was held on March 7, but politicians are still stuck brokering backroom deals, unable to form a government. And today, the 208th day since the election, the country will break the ignominious record for the longest time between a parliamentary election and forming a government. The previous mark belonged to the Netherlands who went 207 days without a government in 1977 after a series of attempts collapsed. In Iraq, frustration is growing among U.S. officials—who think that the vacuum could soon pose a security threat—and from the people who risked their lives to go to the polls. "Iraq has very weak institutions and a caretaker government that can do very little,” said one expert on the Netherlands and Iraq. “This makes for a potentially highly unstable and precarious situation.”

    Read it at The Washington Post