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Iraq: Jaafari Emerges as Shi'ite PM Candidate

The race for Iraq's new prime minister narrowed Tuesday, when one of two top Shi'ite parties withdrew its candidate from consideration.

Interim Finance Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who had been the candidate of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, withdrew his name from contention. This leaves the head of the Islamic Dawa Party, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, as the likely front-runner.

Both parties belong to the United Iraqi Alliance, which won about 48 percent of the vote for the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, Iraq's Electoral Commission says it has received at least three complaints from political groups challenging the election results. A final, certified vote tally is expected Wednesday.

And Turkish shipping magnate Kahraman Sadikoglu, who was abducted in southern Iraq in December, has been freed after reports said his family paid a ransom to his kidnappers.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.