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Iraqi PM's group wins largest vote bloc in 7 provinces in local election, but no majority

Iraqi electoral officials say a coalition led by Iraq's prime minister has won the largest single bloc of seats in seven of 12 provinces participating in local elections, and tied in eighth, although it failed to achieve a majority in any of the districts.

The results announced Saturday showed little change to preliminary results released last week.

Crucially, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition was the top vote-getter in Baghdad and in the southern oil hub of Basra.

The vote offers a measure of support for the country's political blocs heading into next year's parliamentary elections, which will determine who holds the prime minister's job and other federal posts.