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Archive for Monday, May 17, 2010

Recount affirms win for Sunni-backed bloc

May 17, 2010

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— Iraq’s electoral commission affirmed on Sunday the narrow victory of a Sunni-backed bloc in the March vote after a partial recount undercut the Shiite prime minister’s claims of fraud in the tally.

The result was a setback for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who came in second to former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi by a small margin. But his alliance with another Shiite bloc still gives him a strong chance of holding on to power for another four years.

The recount as well as other challenges to the March 7 election result have prevented the seating of the new 325-member parliament and raised fears that the extended period of political bickering will give rise to a new wave of violence as insurgents try to exploit the political vacuum as U.S. troops prepare to go home.

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