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Maliki`s bloc says 750,000 Iraqi votes in question

Last Updated: Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 20:28

Baghdad: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki`s political party said on Sunday its investigation into
the March 7 parliamentary election has thrown into question
some 750,000 votes, enough to change the results of the
nationwide poll.

The State of Law alliance trailed by just two seats
behind former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi`s party in the vote,
which produced no clear winner because neither side got enough
seats to govern alone.

Al-Maliki has demanded an official recount as both
sides struggle to cobble together a ruling coalition.

"We estimate the volume of vote manipulation is up to
750,000 votes," Hajim al-Hasani, the spokesman of the State of
Law Alliance, told reporters in Baghdad.

"This number could change the election results."

More than 11.5 million votes were cast in the
election, which international observers said was fair and
transparent. An appeals committee is reviewing the complaints,
but there is no timetable for a decision.

Al-Hasani said State of Law examined ballots from
five of Iraq`s 18 provinces Basra, Baghdad, Qadissiya, Anbar
and Ninevah and that irregularities include unsigned ballots
and discrepancies in signatures. He said his party estimates
they were cheated out of up to 15 seats.

Today`s announcement will likely worsen the country`s
political deadlock, which many fear is fueling a recent wave
of deadly violence in an around Baghdad.


First Published: Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 20:28
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