A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Monday, January 16, 2006

Make Way for the New Government

AP: Iraq: 99 Percent of Voting Was Valid---

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's electoral commission ruled Monday that more than 99 percent of the ballots from the Dec. 15 parliamentary elections are valid, opening the way for a new government to start coming together.

Final election results have been delayed by fraud complaints mainly lodged by the Sunni Arab minority, and groups looking for a political edge in dealing with the Shiite Muslim majority could still make further protests and hold up the naming of new leaders for two or three months.

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Iraq's electoral commission announced it was throwing out votes from 227 ballot boxes because of fraud, a tiny percentage — less than 1 percent — of the total vote that shouldn't affect the overall results.

"These boxes will not have an affect on the preliminary results that we issued last month," said Adel al-Lami, general director of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq.

Complaints by Sunni Arab and secular Shiite parties charging voting fraud and other irregularities have delayed announcement of final results, impeding negotiations on forming a new, broad-based coalition government.

Hussein Hendawi, an official on the election commission, said uncertified election results should be released in four to five days, which will give the various parties a good idea of how many seats they will get in the new 275-member parliament.(emphasis added)