Maliki's Party Wins Iraq Election
But will need to form a coalition to govern
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 19, 2014 8:56 AM CDT
Iraqi electoral workers arrange ballot boxes from Anbar province at a vote counting center in Baghdad, Iraq, May 8, 2014.   (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)
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(Newser) – A coalition led by Iraq's Shiite prime minister has emerged as the biggest winner in parliamentary elections, paving the way for him to try to form the country's next government. The Independent High Electoral Commission today released results of the election, the first since the US military withdrawal in 2011. They show that Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law bloc gained 92 seats in the 328-member parliament.

State of Law was not expected to command a majority outright. Maliki must now reach out to other blocs to try to cobble together a ruling coalition in a process that could take months. The next closest finisher was a group loyal to powerful Shiite cleric Ammar al-Hakim, which won 29 seats. Another under the banner of fellow Shiite firebrand Muqtada al-Sadr won 28 seats—Sadr renounced politics earlier this year, but apparently didn't mean it.