The January 2005 election was a seminal event in contemporary Iraqi history, but laborious post-election negotiations dampened the initial euphoria. There were problems of process, particularly with regard to the apportionment of power among the various ethno-sectarian groups. The efforts at inclusiveness were meant to produce a national unity government, but this tends to marginalize party competition, thus robbing the democratic process of one of its essential elements. In spite of the efforts at consensus-building, communal entrenchments and thorny constitutional issues continue to threaten Iraq's democratic transformation. The future of democracy in Iraq might very well be determined by political bargaining occurring in the present transitional period.