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Iraq polls: Shias ahead

February 04, 2005 18:43 IST
The main Shia coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance, has taken a major lead in the early count from Sunday's election as unrest continues across the war-torn country, reports Aljazeera.

With 1.6 million votes counted, the Shia alliance had 72.8 per cent, the election commission said on Thursday. The coalition, which has the blessing of Iraq's Shia spiritual leader Ali al-Sistani, is expected to become the biggest single force in the new 275-member national assembly.

A list headed by interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi came in second, with about 18.4% in the partial count. The partial results come from Baghdad and five other of Iraq's 18 provinces - Dhi Qar, Muthanna, al-Qadisiya, Najaf and Karbala. The provinces are dominated by Shias.

The final results are expected in about a week.

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