The Netherlands had held that unfortunate honor after a series of failed attempts left the country without an elected government for 207 days in 1977, according to Christopher J. Anderson, director of the Institute for European Studies at Cornell University.

Iraqis have now spent 208 days with no new government and, while the Dutch weathered their storm, Iraq’s weak institutions may not hold up against mounting pressure and a steady level of violence.

As politicians jockey for positions and broker deals in backroom meetings, many Iraqis now say they wonder why they risked their lives to vote on March 7.