BAGHDAD (AP) -- A secular challenger to Iraq's prime minister is leading by a slim margin ahead of a Kurdish alliance in partial election results from a northern, oil-rich province that is home to the disputed city of Kirkuk.
Iraq's election commission says the Iraqiya group led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi has garnered 123,862 votes, just ahead of the Kurdish Alliance, which has 120,664 votes.
That was based on 61 percent of the votes tallied and released on Sunday for the province of Tamim, home to the city of Kirkuk.
Kirkuk is hotly contested among its Kurdish, Arab and Turkomen population.
Election officials were also releasing partial results for the remaining four provinces still in the balance in last Sunday's parliamentary elections.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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