Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

China trade deal: Is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Call it a caretaker government'

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Pornography without borders is key benefit of EU, says French MEP

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Google Glass sale a test of consumer interest

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Back to the future

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Over 70 killed in Nigeria bus station terror attack

Read more

ENCORE!

“Booty Looting” memory and mediums

Read more

  • Rescue effort under way as ferry sinks off S. Korean coast

    Read more

  • Putin says Ukraine 'on brink of war' as Kiev evicts separatists

    Read more

  • Brazilian club Atletico loses patience with Anelka before he even arrives

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • Berlusconi sentenced to community service for tax fraud

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

  • US to mark one year since Boston Marathon bombing

    Read more

  • India's Supreme Court establishes third gender category

    Read more

  • Bluefin-21 'mini-sub' redeploys for Malaysian jet

    Read more

  • Paris hotel that hosted Holocaust survivors shuts for renovation

    Read more

  • French police begin mass DNA test in hunt for school rapist

    Read more

  • France looks to lift ailing economy with business-friendly diplomacy

    Read more

Middle east

Electoral commission rejects PM Maliki's calls for vote recount

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-22

Iraq's electoral commission has rejected a demand from Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for a recount of ballots cast in the March 7 poll. Latest results show him trailing the Iraqiya bloc of Iyad Allawi by 11,000 votes nationwide.

AFP - Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's calls for a recount of votes from Iraqi polls two weeks ago were rebuffed on Sunday by the election commission amid a tight race to form the biggest bloc in parliament.
   
Maliki's about-face from previous remarks that complaints over the March 7 general election would not affect the results was condemned by the Iraqiya bloc which is now nudging ahead of the premier's State of Law Alliance.
   
Results from the vote, the second since Saddam Hussein was ousted in the US-led invasion of 2003, come less than six months before the United States is due to withdraw all of its combat troops from Iraq.
   
Latest figures from the election commission based on 95 percent of ballots cast showed State of Law trailing the Iraqiya bloc of secular former premier Iyad Allawi by around 11,000 votes nationwide.
   
In a statement, Maliki urged the election commission to "immediately answer the demands of political parties to proceed with a manual recount" which he said would "protect political stability... and prevent a return to violence."
   
The statement, which pointedly noted that Maliki remained head of the country's armed forces, did not specify whether he wanted a nationwide recount, or in particular provinces only.
   
It differed markedly from Maliki's own comments just a week ago, when he said election complaints "cannot affect the results."
   
Hundreds of people demonstrated in support of Maliki in the holy city of Najaf as 10 provincial governors -- all State of Law -- issued a statement also calling for a recount.
   
In his own statement, President Jalal Talabani also called for "a new manual recount" in some provinces, without specifying which ones.
   
The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) rejected the demands for a manual recount, however, saying it would take "too long."
   
"We have provided all political entities with CDs with the results of counting at the political centres, after thorough checks on our part," commission chief Faraj al-Haidari told AFP.
   
"If they have doubts and think that there are errors, they can ask us to hold recounts at particular centres, but not across all of Iraq."
   
Haidari later told a news conference at IHEC's data entry centre in Baghdad's Green Zone: "Some people have demanded a new count for an entire city or across the country -- this is like saying we need a whole new election.
   
"If you do not believe in modern technology, how would you have confidence in the pen of a public worker?"
   
Senior Iraqiya candidate Intisar Allawi, a relative of the bloc's leader, denounced Maliki's remarks as a "clear threat against the commission," adding that a manual recount was a "contradiction" fuelled by news that Iraqiya had taken the lead nationwide.
   
Although she declined to say a manual recount was unnecessary, she said such action "would mean a delay of the results for several months."
   
"This would lead to a political vacuum that would affect the security situation."
   
IHEC officials and Western diplomats have downplayed allegations of fraud and pleaded for patience as the count, which has so far taken two weeks, continues.
   
Final results are due to be published on March 26.
   
Figures released on Saturday showed Iraqiya garnered 2,631,388 votes compared with State of Law's 2,620,042 -- a difference of 11,346.
   
The nationwide count is an indication of the tight race between the two main rivals, but it was not immediately clear how their tallies would affect the number of seats they win in parliament.
   
Maliki's bloc currently leads in seven of Iraq's 18 provinces, including the single largest Baghdad and six other mostly Shiite southern provinces. Allawi, meanwhile, is ahead in five mostly Sunni provinces but looks likely to win several seats in Shiite areas.
   
Iraq's proportional representation system makes it unlikely for any single group to clinch the 163 seats required to form a government on its own.
   
Security officials have warned that protracted coalition building could give insurgent groups and Al-Qaeda a chance to further destabilise Iraq, fears that were illustrated by attacks on Sunday that killed six people nationwide.

 

Date created : 2010-03-21

Comments

COMMENT(S)