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Last Updated: Friday, 10 February 2006, 13:48 GMT
Iraq election results confirmed
Shia celebrations in Karbala
The Shia alliance is seeking allies for a new government
The final certified results of Iraq's election have been announced, almost two months after votes were cast.

Electoral Commission head Adil al-Lami said 128 seats were won by the conservative Shia coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance.

It will be the dominant party in the new assembly, but failed to get an outright majority.

The figures confirm the provisional outcome announced last month. The new assembly must now meet within 15 days.

UN representative Ashraf Qazi welcomed the results.

United Iraqi Alliance 10 seats short of a majority
Kurdistan Alliance again likely coalition partner
Sunni Arabs gain much greater representation
Secular alliances win fewer seats
Former PM Iyad Allawi's bloc loses half its seats
Deputy PM Ahmed Chalabi's alliance wins no seats

"I urge the political leaders to quickly form the new government and offer stability and security to Iraq," he said in a statement, quoted by AFP news agency.

"There are many challenges but human rights is the main concern."

Two Sunni blocs, the Iraqi Accordance Front and the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, received a combined total of 55 seats.

The Kurdish alliance gained 53, and the secular Iraqi National List 25.

Mr Lami said 24 complaints were investigated but none of them changed the results.

He added that women would make up more than 25% of the new chamber.

"I salute these women, and their numbers in the Iraqi parliament will be more than some of the developing countries and even some democratic countries," he said.

The BBC's Jon Brain in Baghdad says the new parliament will have to govern by coalition - no easy feat, given the fundamental differences between the various factions.

The assembly now has to sit within 15 days and begin the process of electing a president who will in turn appoint a prime minister.




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