Rival edges past al-Maliki in Iraq’s vote count

March 20th, 2010 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, March 20 (DPA) Former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi’s Iraqi List eked out a narrow lead over Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition in early election results announced Saturday.
Regional broadcaster al-Jazeera Saturday reported that Allawi’s coalition was leading al-Maliki’s by just under 8,000 votes, with roughly 93 percent of the 12 million votes counted.

Al-Maliki’s coalition still holds a lead in seven out of Iraq’s 18 provinces, to Allawi’s five, which could give al-Maliki’s coalition a slight edge in seats in the new parliament, even if Allawi’s list wins the popular vote.

Iraq’s al-Sumaria television Saturday reported that the two front-runners in the race had “not ruled out” forming a government together, though Allawi was quoted as saying that al-Maliki “would have to forgo sectarianism” to make an alliance possible.

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