05/15/2010, 00.00
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Elections in Iraq: no fraud after manual counting of votes

Fraud excluded. Allawi confirmed winner over Maliki. But neither can build a majority. Insecurity dominates. Yesterday a suicide bombing in northern Iraq killed 25 and wounded 100.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - The Electoral Commission in charge of the recount of votes from elections last March have found no evidence of fraud or cheating. The electoral authorities began the hand count of votes at the request of Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, who lost the majority in elections. The official announcement of results will take place in two days.

The victory of the secular Iraqiya coalition led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has thus been confirmed with 91 seats. The Shiite group also has the consensus of much the Sunni population. Maliki's coalition, the Alliance for the Rule of Law, took only 89 seats.

But both leaders are struggling to gather enough seats to form a comfortable majority. Maliki has repeatedly said he is allied with the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), which brings together many Shiites religious groups and in the March 7 elections took 70 seats.

The largest Shia group - perhaps with the support of Tehran – is trying in every way to penalize Iraqiya, accusing it of having included figures from the Baath Party, of the Saddam Hussein administration, among its candidates.

Observers suggest a government alliance between Allawi and Maliki to stabilize the country, but the ambitions of both seem to exclude this possibility.

The difficulty in creating a government risks increasing insecurity in the country, where groups linked to Al Qaeda continue to sow terror. Yesterday, in northern Iraq, a double suicide bombing at a soccer game killed 25 people and wounded over one hundred.  

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See also
The Shiite al-Maliki is ahead, but the secular Allawi is also going strong
Baghdad, Judiciary Committee could reverse outcome of elections
Shadow of Tehran and Washington hangs over Iraqi elections
Elections in Afghanistan, vote recount "a defeat for democracy"
Parliamentary elections in Bishkek: vote recount


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