Talal Zobaie (R), member of the Independent High Electoral Commission, speaks to the press as other officials listen on as he announces the official results of the general elections in Baghdad on May 19, 2014. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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Despite the strong performance, Maliki's State of Law alliance fell short of an overall majority, meaning he will have to court rivals from across the communal spectrum, some of whom have sharply criticised Maliki and refused to countenance his bid for re-election.Results from the election commission showed State of Law garnered 92 out of 328 parliamentary seats, with the incumbent himself winning more than 721,000 personal votes.Both were by far the highest such figures from the April 30 vote -- the first since US troops withdrew from Iraq at the end of 201 -- and marked significant increases compared to Maliki's performance in the last general election in 2010 .Following Iraq's last elections, it took nine months to form a government as parties engaged in protracted horse-trading and several blocs tried to oppose Maliki's bid for re-election.
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