The results are extremely close. The two main groups are neck and neck and Sadr's group is also doing well. It may be difficult to form a coalition government. Comments such as this by the Maliki aide are going to do nothing to stabilize the situation. Sectarian violence is always a possibility. This is from antiwar.com.
Maliki Aide: We Won’t Recognize Election Results
Posted By Jason Ditz
An aide to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki today insisted that his State of Law party will not recognize the final election results, expected later this week, because the election commission declined their request for a manual recount.
The aide, Ali al-Adib, declared that the party had “strong, clear evidence” of fraud against them, though the only evidence cited was the “surprising” gains by the opposition Iraqiya party of former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.
Yet Iraqiya’s gains were largely as a result of a strong showing in Sunni dominated areas, areas where State of Law was all but invisible. Hundreds of claims of fraud have been registered, mostly against State of Law, but the election commission has insisted that so far none have been significant enough to replace the results.
It is unclear what practical effect the refusal to recognize the results would have, but given Iraq’s long history of messy transfers of power, the potential to destabilize the nation seems very real.