The Iranians will be pleased...
Shi'ites Win Most Seats
Updated: 12:57, Friday January 20, 2006
An alliance of Shi'ite religious parties has won the biggest block of seats in Iraq's elections.
The group has won 128 of the 275 seats in the new parliament, according to the country's electoral commission.
But it is not enough for them to form a government without coalition partners.
An alliance of Kurdish parties captured 53 seats in the December poll, while two Sunni Arab tickets won 55.
The Shi'ite United Iraqi Alliance's total of 128 seats was 18 fewer than it won in last January's election.
The new election results will give Sunni Arabs a stronger voice in the assembly than they had before.
There were only 17 representatives of the Sunni community, which forms the backbone of the insurgency. Many Sunnis had boycotted the January vote.
The results announced today will not be certified for up to another two weeks.
Earlier, US military officials stepped up security ahead of the poll announcements.
Roads leading in and out of Baghdad, and the major provinces of Anbar, Diyala, Najaf and Mosul, were closed.
Thousands of extra soldiers and police manned extra checkpoints and conducted patrols.