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Shiites Prevail in Iraqi Elections, But Lack Majority

Final results of the Iraqi national election are released, two weeks after the vote. As expected, the Shiite-led coalition, tacitly endorsed by Ayatollah al-Sistani, came away with the biggest bloc, at 47 percent. A Kurdish alliance came in second, with 25 percent of the vote.

Turnout in Sunni Muslim areas was lower than U.S. officials had predicted, as NPR's Emily Harris reports from Baghdad. Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's lineup of candidates trailed, virtually guaranteeing a change in leadership.

With no party winning a two-thirds majority required to form a presidential council, deals between coalitions are now being discussed. The Shiite coalition is pressing for one of its members to take the post of prime minister, while the Kurds are angling for the presidency.

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Anne Garrels