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Thread: Iraq's Maliki asks for recount, warns of violence

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    Iraq's Maliki asks for recount, warns of violence

    Iraq's Maliki asks for recount, warns of violence
    Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:02am EDT

    Reuters) - Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called for a nationwide recount of votes from Iraq's March 7 parliamentary election, saying the country could return to violence if the demand were not met.


    The call came after new results from the electoral commission on Saturday showed secularist challenger Iyad Allawi edging ahead of Maliki's bloc by about 8,000 votes with about 93 percent of the counting complete.

    Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, also issued a statement on Sunday asking the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) for a recount in some provinces.

    In the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf, an estimated 300 demonstrators gathered on Sunday near a provincial government building, demanding a recount.

    The tight race portends weeks of difficult negotiations to form a government, raising the prospect of a political vacuum that could set back Iraq's fragile security gains.

    Maliki, a Shi'ite who won over many Iraqis with his nationalist rhetoric and steps to crush sectarian violence, noted in a statement late of Saturday there were demands from several political blocs to manually recount the votes.

    "I call on the High Electoral Commission to respond immediately to the demands of those blocs to preserve the political stability and prevent the security situation from deteriorating and avoid the return of violence," he said.


    Faraj al-Haidari, head of the electoral commission, said members would meet on Sunday to discuss Maliki's demand but questioned the need for a recount.

    "If there is a glitch, they can file a complaint and say there was a glitch in that station," he said. "They say they want a manual count, but this is up to the commissioners' board to decide. We do an accurate electronic count."

    The vote counting has been dogged by allegations of fraud.

    Supporters of Maliki's State of Law coalition asked for a recount in Baghdad after initial results showed their candidate trailing the Iraqiya bloc led by Allawi, a Shi'ite former prime minister with wide support among minority Sunnis.

    The IHEC had said the count was fair and included multiple checks against fraud.

    Maliki and Allawi have been locked in a neck-and-neck race and the lead in the popular vote has changed hands several times. Seats in the 325-member parliament will be allocated on the basis of each coalition's results in each of the 18 provinces, not by the national vote count.

    Maliki leads in seven provinces in central and southern Iraq, six of them mainly Shi'ite.

    Allawi, who has tried to model himself as a non-sectarian outsider, swept western and northern areas that are home to large numbers of Sunni Arabs. He also holds a narrow lead over the powerful Kurdish ruling party in Kirkuk, the disputed city that is Iraq's northern oil hub.

    Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) is one of two groups that have dominated Kurdish politics for decades. The alliance of the two leads in three provinces.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    thanks wrebeijo for the post, imo we must have the new gov. in place before we can expect an rv. common sense to me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    South Carolina
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    Thanks for the post.

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