Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and former premier and secular leader Ayad Allawi are leading their political blocs to big victories in the country’s parliamentary elections. Al-Maliki is carrying major Shia provinces of Basra, Najaf and Karbala and leads in Baghdad, with Allawi’s bloc carrying the Sunni provinces of Anbar, Diyala and Sallahudin and a surprising lead in Kirkuk.
Pro-Iran Iraqi National Alliance (INA), led by Hakim’s Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council and cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, lost all major Shia provinces to Al-Maliki, carrying only small provinces near Iranian border. The Kurdistaniya, the main Kurdish alliance, carried the Kurdish provinces as expected, but the alliance is finishing second in Kirkuk to Allawi’s bloc, a major blow to Kurdish claim over the oil-rich region.
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