Iraq's Prez Demands Election Recount
Joins PM in call to 'preclude any doubt' over results
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 21, 2010 5:54 AM CDT
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has issued a demand for a recount in this month's parliamentary elections.   (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

(Newser) – Iraqi President Jalal Talabani today called for a recount in this month's parliamentary elections, to "preclude any doubt and misunderstanding" in the results of a tight race between PM Nouri al-Maliki and a secular rival amid widespread confusion and accusations of fraud. Al-Maliki, whose bloc is among those seeking a recount, late yesterday called on the election commission to respond to recount demands, saying that doing so quickly would "protect the democratic experiment."

The latest partial results, released yesterday, showed al-Maliki's secular Shiite challenger, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, leading by a slim margin over the prime minister's coalition in the overall tally. However, al-Maliki is winning in seven of Iraq's 18 provinces, which is significant because parliament seats are allotted based on the outcome of voting in each province.