Baghdad: Iraq`s election officials said
on Thursday that a recount of the Baghdad ballots could take up to
three weeks, possibly even longer than it took to count the
whole country`s ballots after the March 7 election.
The timeline means another delay for an election process
that has already dragged on for weeks and threatens to
undermine the country`s fragile stability.
Since Iraq`s landmark parliamentary elections on March
7, the country`s political factions have been wrestling over
the results of the close-fought contest. But little progress
has been made toward forming a new government, prompting fears
of renewed violence just as US combat forces prepare to go
"I can`t predict when the final results will be ratified
by the Supreme Court as many things still need to be done,"
the head of Independent High Electoral Commission, Faraj
al-Haidari, told a press conference.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki`s Shiite coalition
narrowly lost by two seats to former Prime Minister Ayad
Allawi`s bloc. Al-Maliki has challenged the results, alleging
fraud and issued a flurry of appeals for recounts.
While rejecting recount requests in other provinces,
Iraq`s judiciary approved one for Baghdad, a key province and
home to nearly a quarter of the country`s population.