Iraqi PM holding on to narrow lead in election
IN A close race in the Iraqi parliamentary election, the coalition led by the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has a narrow lead, but will need to share power with other parties to form a new government.
The outcome of the poll is still uncertain because officials are still counting votes from the election last Sunday amid allegations of fraud. As in past elections the country's three main communities -- Shia, Sunni and Kurd -- have voted along different lines. Mr Maliki's State of Law coalition appears to be getting most votes in the Shia provinces of southern Iraq, but the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), dominated by Shia religious parties, is not far behind.
The Iraqiya Party led by the former prime minister, Iyad Allawi, was ahead in mainly Sunni provinces but was trailing in Shia rural areas. Given that at least 60pc of Iraqi voters are Shia Arabs and another 20pc are Kurds, Mr Allawi's success will be limited if he has to rely on the Sunni vote. (© Independent News Service)