Initial results from Iraq’s national election are likely to be released today. There’s no indication that any bloc will win an outright majority but the Iraqi prime minister is tipped even by the opposition to grab a big share of the vote.
The Iraqi National Alliance (INA), a largely Shi’ite group that is challenging Nuri al-Maliki’s bid to win a second term, told a news conference that according to their informal tallies the
prime minister was ahead in at least 10 of Iraq’s 18 provinces.
Other counts, however, have suggested the gap between the two is wider and there’s widespread agreement that lengthy negotiations over a coalition government are likely to ensue.
Whatever the final outcome when results are known in several weeks, many Iraqis hope the election will bring a measure of stability after years of deadly sectarian warfare.