"On April 30, some 63 percent of some 21 million eligible voters turned out to vote for the 328-seat Iraqi Council of Representatives out of more than 9,000 candidates."
Baghdad, May 19 - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law Coalition was winning 92 seats out of 328 seats in parliament, raising his chances to remain on the post for a third term despite fierce opposition and worsening security in the country, showed final vote tallies in the April 30 parliamentary election released Monday.
Maliki's election group showed a strong lead, but fell short of a majority needed to form the next government, according to the Independent High Electoral Commission, which announced the final results here, Xinhua reported Monday.
The results also showed that Ahrar Coalition, led by Dhiyaa Najim, loyal to firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, won 28 seats, far behind Maliki's coalition, while the Citizen Coalition led by Shia cleric Ammar al-Hakim, followed with 27 seats.
The United for Reform Coalition, also known as Mutahidoun, led by the Sunni parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, garnered 23 seats, whereas a bloc named Diyala is Our Identity, close to Nujaifi, came first in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala with five seats, which could be added to Nujaifi's seats.
In northern Iraq, the Kurdistan Democratic Pary (KDP), led by the Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani, won most seats - 19 - while the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, led by Iraq's President Jalal Talbani, won 17 seats, and the Kurdish opposition Goran bloc garnered nine seats.
According to the results, Maliki was the front-runner in 10 mainly Shia provinces, including Baghdad, while Nujaifi's Mutahidoun was leading in the mainly Sunni provinces of Nineveh, Anbar and Salahudin, just two seats more than the former secular prime minister Ayad Allawi, who got 21 seats.
Maliki's State of Law Coalition has been campaigning under the goal of forming a governing majority, saying internal conflicts in the current power-sharing partnership government are the cause of Iraq's political, economic and security crises.
However, Sunnis, Kurds and many Shia parties have objected to a third term in office for the incumbent Maliki, frequently accusing his Shia-led government of pursuing a policy of hegemony and marginalising political partners in a bid to gain more power.
On April 30, some 63 percent of some 21 million eligible voters turned out to vote for the 328-seat Iraqi Council of Representatives out of more than 9,000 candidates.
It was the country's third parliamentary elections since the collapse of the former leader Saddam Hussien and the first national polls since the withdrawal of US troops in 2011.