[JURIST] Six of Iraq's 18 provinces reported partial election returns Thursday that showed the United Iraqi Alliance [Wikipedia profile], a Shiite party, with strong results in the National Assembly race. The Alliance had been endorsed by the country's most powerful Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani [personal website], and led all other parties in the six reporting provinces. The Iraqi National Assembly elections are based on a closed-list proportional representation system, so voters select a party list, which then earns a number of seats proportional to its share of the vote. Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's Iraqi List [list website in Arabic] was reported to be running second in all six provinces. The provinces reporting are Baghdad, Dhi Qar, Muthanna, Qadisiyah, Najaf and Karbala. BBC News has a list of candidates in the election. JURIST's Paper Chase has complete coverage of the Iraqi elections. AP has more.