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March 8, 2010
Iraqi prime minister’s coalition reportedly takes early lead

It will be days before any official results are released about Iraq’s parliamentary election, but there were some indications today of how the results may play out.

The AP says preliminary estimates show that the coalition led by the current prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is doing well in Baghdad and in the Shiite south of Iraq.

In the capital’s green zone, ballot boxes were delivered today to the independent election commission as the counting process began.

Despite a wave of violence Sunday that killed at least 26 people, 62 percent of 19 million eligible voters turned out — lower than during the last Iraqi parliamentary election.

Both the top U.S. general and the American ambassador praised the election process, echoing what President Obama said yesterday. And General Ray Odierno re-affirmed the phased withdrawal of the 96,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq.

For more, Daljit Dhaliwal speaks with Michael Wahid Hanna, a fellow at the Century Foundation.

Mike Hanna of Al Jazeera English followed one elderly woman who was voting for the future.

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