Iraq race neck-and-neck

2010-03-18 15:01

kalahari.com

Baghdad - Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and main rival Iyad Allawi were neck-and-neck on Thursday, with updated results showing their blocs in a tight race to be the largest faction in the Iraqi parliament.

Maliki's State of Law Alliance led Allawi's Iraqiya list by just 40 000 votes nationwide, according to updated results based on 83% of ballots counted, as the incumbent's bloc alleged fraud and demanded a recount.

But Iraqiya was on pace to garner 90 seats in the 325-member Council of Representatives compared with State of Law's 89, according to a calculation that excludes eight seats reserved for minorities.

Ballots cast outside Iraq and during special voting for the security forces, the sick and prisoners have not yet been fully tabulated by Iraq's electoral commission and could still affect the outcome.

The election, the second since Saddam Hussein was ousted in the US-led invasion of 2003, comes less than six months before the United States is set to withdraw all of its combat troops from Iraq.

Fraud allegations

An ally of Maliki charged on Wednesday that the count, which has so far taken 10 days, had been plagued by widespread fraud and demanded a nationwide recount.

"There has been clear manipulation inside the election commission in the interests of a certain or a specific list," said Ali al-Adeeb, a State of Law candidate in the predominantly Shi'ite central province of Karbala.

"State of Law demands the counting process be repeated to be sure that there has been no manipulation."

Adeeb described Iraqiya's progress as "like a miracle".

His remarks were a sharp departure from Maliki's own just days earlier, when he dismissed allegations of fraud as "very small".

Electoral official Iyad al-Kinaani downplayed any allegations of fraud, saying the commission's work was "transparent and is done with great care because we know the importance of this step".

Maliki leading in Baghdad

Overall, Maliki held a slim lead in the count, with 2 260 483 votes against 2 220 443 for Iraqiya. Results released late on Tuesday had put Allawi ahead by less than 9 000 votes.

State of Law leads in Baghdad, which is the largest province and accounts for more than twice as many seats as any other.

It is also ahead in the southern oil province of Basra, the third biggest, as well as five other mostly Shi'ite central and southern provinces, but has failed to finish in the top three in all but one of Iraq's Sunni-majority provinces.

Iraqiya, on the other hand, was leading in four provinces, including the second biggest, Nineveh. It was also in a virtual tie for the lead in a fifth, Kirkuk, where it was ahead of a Kurdish bloc by about 600 votes.

It was placed in the top three in six predominantly Shi'ite provinces where Maliki was either first or second.

The Iraqi National Alliance, a coalition led by Shi'ite religious groups, is set to come in third with 69 seats, according to calculations, while Kurdistania, comprised of the autonomous Kurdish region's two long-dominant parties, is likely to have 39.

No other group is set to win more than 10 seats.

Coalition talks expected

Both State of Law and Iraqiya have said they have begun talks with rival blocs to form a government, with analysts warning that political groupings could still manoeuvre to form a coalition without either list.

Iraq's system of proportional representation makes it unlikely for any single group to clinch the 163 seats required to form a government on its own. Protracted coalition building is expected.

Complete election results were expected around Thursday. Final results - after all complaints have been investigated and ruled upon - are likely by the end of the month.

- SAPA
Read more on:    nuri al-maliki  |  iyad allawi  |  iraq  |  iraq elections
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your sense of duty is emphasized and you may put your heart and soul into helping, serving and being there for the community in a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.