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Iraqi Prime Minister's Coalition Strongest In Local Voting

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
Official results show Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Shi’ite-led coalition finishing strongest in Iraqi provincial elections held two weeks ago.

Results released on May 4 said Maliki's State of Law coalition won the most seats in seven out of 12 provinces but failed to achieve a majority in any district, meaning it will need to form alliances.

In the capital, Baghdad, Maliki’s coalition won 20 of 58 seats.

The secular but Sunni-dominated Al-Iraqiyah bloc finished poorly, winning no more than three seats in any province.

The April 20 elections were the first in Iraq since the U.S. military withdrawal in late 2011 and provide a picture of Iraqi political forces ahead of the 2014 parliamentary elections.

Iraqi politics remains sharply split, with power struggles among majority Shi’ites, Sunnis, and ethnic Kurds.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP