With Iraq's Shi'ite and Sunni political blocs losing their influence due to defections and political differences, several new parties and cross-sectarian alliances are poised to reap the benefits in the Jan. 31 election. Some observers see an increasing interest in nonsectarian politics. "The Islamic party and the Islamic movements are retreating from the Iraqi streets. The Iraqi streets are becoming non-Sunni and non-Shi'ite," said one candidate.
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