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Maliki coalition wins largest bloc in several areas

Published: Updated:

A coalition led by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has won the largest single bloc of seats in seven of 12 provinces participating in local elections, according to results released on Saturday.

Maliki’s State of Law coalition won the most provincial council seats and tied in eighth, although it failed to achieve a majority in any of the districts, according to The Associated Press.

Maliki’s coalition was the most successful candidate in attracting votes in Baghdad and the southern oil hub of Basra, the agency reported.

The results announced Saturday showed little change to preliminary results released last week.

The vote for provincial councils was the first election held since U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq in late 2011, and was seen as an important gauge of Maliki’s popularity ahead of a general election next year.