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Maliki Challenges Vote as Allawi Gains

After observing his coalition’s parliamentary lead slip, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki accused the Iraqi Election Commission of voter fraud. Maliki’s State of Law bloc has sharply dropped to secular Shiite Ayad Allawi‘s Iraqiya bloc with 79 percent of the ballot counted. As a result, Maliki has demanded a recount in Baghdad, the country’s most populous region. While Allawi’s coalition leads in the popular vote , it only leads in 4 out of 18 provinces, with Maliki’s coalition enjoying a lead in 7 others, including Baghdad. Many officials fear that a Maliki loss would make it more diffcult for him to garner allies to maintain a steady but risk-prone peace that has built up over the past 2 years. Despite this, Western diplomats discussed the claims of vote fraud as “irregularities,” and will likely not support a potential Maliki bid to challenge the results.


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