I wonder if this is because the New York Times has decided that things are looking up for the elections and wants to start rewriting history early, so that they can claim that they were always on board when things are obviously looking better, in a manner similar to the depictions of bi-partisanship and respect for Ronald Reagan when he was president are done.
On the other hand it could be more subtle. Perhaps it is a way to promote the cause of the Sunni against real democracy. At least the second story is about the Sunni’s getting influence despite supporting the caliphascists and boycotting the elections. Then after the elections, when the Sunni are mostly shut out, the New York Times can come back with how fraudulent and exclusionary the elections were, an obvious failure.