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Iraqi Prime Minister's coalition seen leading vote

BAGHDAD (AP) - Early estimates from a range of Iraqi parties predict a coalition led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will take the lead in the parliamentary race.

Iraq's election commission said Monday it will be days until official results are released, probably on Thursday.

But Abbas al-Bayati from al-Maliki's State of Law coalition said early information from the coalition's representatives showed the list did well in Baghdad as well as the Shiite south. Members of the other major Shiite bloc said they did not do as well as they expected.

By all accounts, a small number of seats are expected to separate the first and second place coalitions.


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