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Shi'ite, Kurdish Leaders Plan Coalition Government

Iraqis demonstrated against election results (epa) 27 December 2005 -- Leaders of the Shi'ite and Kurdish blocs poised to win the Iraqi parliamentary elections agreed today to push ahead with efforts to form a coalition government.

Kurdish regional leader Masoud Barzani said he favored a government with "a broad popular base." He was speaking at a joint news conference after talks with Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim of the Shi'ite United Iraqi Alliance in the northern city of Arbil.

Hakim's bloc has run the interim government for the past year in coalition with the Kurds. He insisted the results of the 15 December ballot must stand despite fraud allegations.

In Baghdad, thousands of people backing Sunni Arab and secular Shi'ite politicians protested what they are calling fraudulent elections:

Chanting, "No! No to vote-rigging! No! No to vote-rigging!" protestors demanded a rerun of the vote in key provinces.

Meanwhile, fresh violence killed at least 11 Iraqis across the country.


Coalition Images Of The Voting

Coalition Images Of The Voting

The Multinational Force in Iraq on December 15, 2005, released official images of the voting in the legislative elections. To view a slideshow of their photographs, click on the image.

To see RFE/RL's special webpage about the election, click here.

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