March 16th, 2010
08:13 PM ET

Allawi edges ahead of al-Maliki in Iraq vote count

[Posted, 8:03 p.m.] The mostly Shiite Iraqi National Alliance was ahead in three provinces, according to the electoral commission. The coalition is backed by the country's predominantly Shiite neighbor, Iran, and includes controversial secular politician Ahmed Chalabi, as well as some of Iraq's top Shiite religious parties - including followers of radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

An alliance of Iraq's major Kurdish parties led in the three majority-Kurdish provinces in northeastern Iraq.

[Posted, 6:48 p.m.] Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's bloc edged ahead of the coalition led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in the latest results from Iraq's parliamentary vote, election officials announced late Tuesday.

Allawi's al-Iraqia list was ahead of al-Maliki's State of Law coalition by about 9,000 votes of the more than 4.2 million cast for the two leading slates. But al-Maliki's bloc continues to hold a lead in the expected number of seats in Iraq's parliament, since the prime minister is ahead in Baghdad and other large provinces as vote counting continues.

The latest figures from the Independent High Electoral Commission are based on about 80 percent of the votes cast within Iraq in the March 7 election. Still to be counted are the remainder of those ballots, plus votes from the country's army and police force, prisoners, hospital patients and 270,000-plus votes from Iraqis living abroad.

- CNN's Jomana Karadsheh contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Iraq • World
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Jim

    I'm glad that this election is more democratic and somewhat peaceful..No matter who wins there will be beheadings and fighting from now on..They have been fighting for centuries and they are not gonna quit anytime soon..My two cents worth..Jim.

    March 16, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. T. J.

    Allawi's camp received millions of dollars from Saudi, and much support from Egypt and the US. Democracy, yes, clean? not by any means!!

    March 16, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mike

    Everyone says the middle east has been fighting for thousands of years and isn't going to stop. I think they would stop, if enough leaders could enlighten their people not to use RELIGION as an excuse to fight and kill.

    Our leaders today don't actually lead – they fill Government Offices with the job spending tax money, supporting corporate america, and legislating citizens. Never do we get actual leadership, as we got by the Founding Fathers.

    Anyway, our democracy is devolving into a two-party system, each side drawing farther apart, instead of finding the common grounds that all U.S. citizens share. Divided we Fall. Let's get together, peeps.

    March 16, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tim G

    Jim, don't be such a gloomy Gus. Iraq is now a democracy, although a fragile one. Considering that the Iraqi people were ruled for decades by a brutal dictator, this is great news no matter how you look at it.

    March 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joe

    I happily applaud the Iraqi people for the strides they have made toward a democratic nation, and hope that their future brings both stability and peace to their nation. If they are successful in this noble endeavor, I hope they are able to show other nations in the middle east that democracy is a wonderful thing. I agree that the history of the region has been full of bloodshed and also that the US lead invasion was a mistake, never the less I hope that they are able to rise above the stereotypes people may give them and rebuild their nation as a piller of democracy and peace, where they (Sunni and shehite) can coexist as one nation.

    March 16, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JP

    Jim...I'm sorry you feel that way. They have lived under a brutal Dictatorship for over 2 decades. I think that the progress that has been made in the country since the SURGE has been immense in a very short period of time. It is this type of thinking from our fellow Americans that do not give our Armed Forces enough time to really get the job done. Patience please.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Doug Wilson

    This is really good news, because Allawi is the leader of the secular party, and the one with closest ties to the U.S. Many of the bureaucrats he brought in with him in the early period of the occupation were Iraqi exiles who had been living in the U.S. He may not get a majority of seats in the parliament, but a strong minority party that is secular is a good thing. I wonder if the rules would allow him to form a majority in the absence of a clear majority of Maliki's party.

    Another interesting thing I heard about Allawi's success is that many voters are turning to him exactly because he is secular, and they are tired of the sectarian conflict and don't want any religious party to govern. That is a good thing. Keeping religion out of government is always a good thing.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Daniel

    Regardless of who wins,Iraq will continue to be no more than a U.S. satillite state like Poland was to Russia during the Cold War.Because Iraq contains 11% of the world's oil,the West will never leave and things will stay the same for some time to come.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Robert

    Its a young parliamentary democracy. Its going to take some time for it to take hold, but the youths will inherit it one days and in their minds it will be as it always has been. The first few elections are gonna be off wall, but they will slowly develop more centrist parties.

    March 16, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mac c

    let us hope that the moderates get in or it will be another iran

    March 16, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Alex

    I hope that Al Iraqiya is able to gain enough seats to elect Eyad Allawi. Nuri Al-Maliki has not been the most effective at governing and is clearly pro-shiite. Wouldn't it be nice to have a PM that works for both Shiites and Sunnis? Also, I'm hoping the Iraqi National Alliance goes down hard. This is the party supported by Iran. Iran would love nothing more for Democracy to fail and see a Theocracy take over.

    March 16, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JLP

    I am not happy thatIran is involved indirectly in the elections, but at least it seems like a semi fair election.

    March 16, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. WOW

    So after all the billions spent and all the brave soldiers lost, the Iran backed coalition may win? Iran just swoops in after we do all the work? That is gratitude for you. I thought we were seen as liberators? I guess that was a lie all along. Invading Iraq was not worth it for the American people.

    March 16, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |