Iraq Election: Partial tally report shows support for Shiite candidates

Friday, February 4, 2005 Iraq – With more than two-thirds of the 3.3 million votes counted in the Iraqi legislative election, the United Iraqi Alliance has a considerable lead over interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's Iraqi List which trails with approximately 17% of the current tally.

The election commission (IECI) did not have firm figures for how many people voted, but estimates approximately 8 million Iraqis participated in the historic poll. The results so far do not include the northern provinces which are largely Sunni and Kurdish strongholds.

The most recent returns were from the provinces of Babylon, Basra, Karbala, Maysan, Muthanna, Najaf, Qadissiyah, Zi Qar and Wassit, and from Baghdad.

Jalal Talabani, leader of the northern Kurdish political bloc, has called to be nominated as the new Prime Minister or President, a proposal which may indicate the suspected deal between the Shia and the Kurds may in fact be in place - a situation sure to inflame the former ruling minority Sunnis.

Final results are expected to be announced on Tuesday, February 8.