- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 14, 2010

BAGHDAD — Partial counts from all of Iraq’s 18 provinces show the prime minister’s bloc leading in the country’s key parliamentary elections.

Iraq’s electoral commission said Sunday that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition is leading in eight provinces.

The secular Iraqiya bloc, headed by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, leads in four, while the religious Shiite Iraqi National Alliance and the main Kurdish coalition lead in three provinces each.

The results are based on partial vote counts released over the past three days, with the percentage of polling stations counted in each province spanning from 10 percent to 67 percent.

The March 7 election was Iraq’s second for a full-term government since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

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