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Iraq To Announce Election Results Today


Iraqi electoral officials are set to announce the results of the country's first free elections in 50 years.

An electoral commission spokesman Farid Ayar says the final tally from the historic January 30th vote will be made public Sunday at four PM local time. Officials say parties will then have three days to challenge the results before they are certified.

Preliminary results indicate parties in the main Shi'ite coalition supported by Iraq's most influential Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, will likely dominate the 275-seat national assembly.

Other Shi'ite parties, as well as Kurdish parties, also are expected to secure a significant number of seats. But Iraq's minority Sunnis, who were in power during the reign of ousted leader Saddam Hussein, are not expected to make a good showing.

Many Sunnis did not vote due to intimidation by insurgents, or voluntarily boycotted the election to protest what they viewed as U.S. pressure to put Shi'ites and Kurds in power.

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