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Shi'ite Alliance Leads in Iraq's Vote Count


Initial results from Iraq's parliamentary elections show strong support for the country's main Shi'ite Muslim religious alliance, with Iraqi voters mostly divided along religious and ethnic lines.

Results announced so far, on Monday, account for about 90 percent of the ballots cast last week in 11 of Iraq's 18 provinces. Voters were choosing members of a new legislature that will have a full four-year term of office.

In Baghdad province, the country's most diverse and populous region, the Shi'ite-led United Iraqi Alliance won 59 percent of the votes. The main Sunni Muslim Arab coalition, the Iraqi Consensus Front, came in second, with 19 percent. And the secular Iraqi List coalition led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi was third, at 14 percent.

Election officials have received nearly 700 complaints about campaign violations or voting fraud. They say some of those could be serious enough to affect the outcome of specific races.