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Iraqi PM Leads Vote In Basra

Iraqi's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki casting his vote for the Iraqi parliamentary elections.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) -- A list led by Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had a wide lead in early results from the southern oil hub of Basra a week after Iraq's parliamentary election, the country's electoral commission said on March 14.

Basra will be at the heart of huge oilfield development projects by foreign firms.

Maliki's State of Law coalition had 219,657 votes compared to 121,497 for a fellow Shi'ite list, the Iraqi National Alliance, which has close ties to Iran.

Iraqiya, a secular, cross-sectarian alliance led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, had 36,093 votes. The totals represented 63 percent of the vote in Basra province.