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Maliki Wants Recount, Warns Of Violence

From those champions of fair elections Reuters:

Iraqi’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki casts his vote for the Iraqi parliamentary elections at a polling station in the green zone in Baghdad March 7, 2010.

Iraq’s Maliki asks for recount, warns of violence

By Rania El Gamal And Khalid Al-ansary

March 21, 2010

BAGHDAD (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…

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 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…

The wonderful world of Middle Eastern politics.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama is so concerned he would have gone on vacation but for other developments.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, March 21st, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Maliki Wants Recount, Warns Of Violence”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Would it be any comfort to the Iraqis if Jimma Carter
    stuck his peanut into their recount?

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