Iraq poll results expected in two weeks

Final results from Iraq's 15 December parliamentary elections may not be announced for another two weeks.

    The commission investigated 1980 complaints

    The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) has completed its investigation of almost 2000 election complaints and will announce the findings on Wednesday, Hussain Hindawi, a commission member, said on Tuesday.

     

    But the commission will not announce final election results until an international team finishes its work, meaning results might not be ready for two weeks, said Safwat Rashid, another IECI member.

     

    Officials had previously said final results would be announced in early January.

     

    Investigation

     

    The commission investigated 1980 complaints, including 50 that were considered serious enough to alter results in some districts, an election official said.

     

    Officials expected election
    results in about two weeks

    The international team, which began its work on Monday, agreed to review Iraq's elections after allegations by Sunni Arabs and secular Shia groups that the polls were tainted with fraud.

     

    Preliminary results gave the governing Shia religious bloc, the United Iraqi Alliance, a big lead, but one which still would require forming a coalition with other groups.

     

    The International Mission for Iraqi Elections includes two representatives from the Arab League, one member of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians and a European academic.

     

    The independent group said it helped to monitor the elections in Baghdad and was "assisted by monitors from countries of the European Union working under IMIE's umbrella".

     

    Complaints review

     

    The international team said it would review the election complaints, although Craig Jenness, a UN observer, has endorsed the vote.

     

    Jenness said last week that his UN-led international election assistance team found the elections to be fair.

     

    Hindawi said some members of the international team were already at work, adding: "The IECI will provide everything they need to facilitate their work."

     

    Rashid said that, although his panel was separate from the international monitoring team, it would take into consideration the international team's findings before announcing results.

     

    "If they work hard, they might finish within a week," he said.

     

    Results for Iraq's interim parliamentary elections were announced on 13 February last year, about two weeks after the 30 January balloting.

    SOURCE: AFP


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