May 1,9, 2014 4:51PM GMT
A coalition led by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has won the most seats in the country’s April 30 parliamentary polls.
Results released by Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission on Monday showed that the premier’s State of Law alliance garnered 92 out of 328 parliamentary seats.
Maliki’s bloc won 30 seats in the capital Baghdad alone and won the first spot in 10 out of 18 provinces overall, while his main rivals are said to have gained between 16 and 33 seats in total.
State of Law Alliance, however, fell short of an overall majority. This means that Maliki’s chances for a new term are high, but he requires approaching other groups in order to secure a broader majority coalition inside parliament.
The announced results could still be challenged or change before they are finally certified by Iraq’s Supreme Court.
The formation of the Iraqi new government is expected to take several months as the president and the parliament speaker should be also selected.
Under a de facto agreement among communities in Iraq, the prime minister is a Shia Arab, the president a Kurd and the parliament speaker a Sunni Arab.
Electoral officials reported that 62 percent of the 22 million eligible voters participated in the elections, which had more than 9,000 candidates.
The vote came amid a surge in violence that has reportedly left more than 3,500 people dead this year.
Maliki has said Saudi Arabia and Qatar are responsible for the security crisis and growing terrorism in his countr