Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki prepares to casts his vote at a polling station in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, April 30, 2014. (AP Photo)
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Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Thursday that a high turnout in parliament elections the previous day was a "slap in the face of terrorism" as government forces battle al-Qaeda-inspired militants west of the capital, Baghdad.Maliki, seeking a third term following his country's first polls since US troops withdrew, faces significant opposition from within his own Shiite community, as well as minority Sunni Arabs and Kurds.The turnout from among Iraq's 22 million eligible voters was estimated to have exceeded 60 percent on Wednesday, Maliki said.Thursday, Maliki said he would open talks with all blocs but would not be searching for a broad-based coalition as has been the case the past decade, when governments included Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.Maliki declined to speculate on how his bloc fared in the election, saying he would leave the election commission to announce the results.
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