Iraq confirms election fraud
Iraqi officials nullified election results in over 30 polling stations due to fraud in last month's provincial balloting, but the cases were not significant enough to require a new vote in any province, the election chief said Sunday.
According to the AP, Faraj al-Haidari said final results of the Jan. 31 voting would be certified and announced this week.
Initial official results announced Feb. 5 showed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's ticket swept to victory over Shiite religious parties in Baghdad and southern Iraq. Voters in 14 of the 18 provinces were choosing members of ruling provincial councils in an election.
Al-Haidari said his commission had looked into fraud allegations from across the country and would declare the findings along with the certified results. But he added "we won't cancel" the election in any province. He told The Associated Press that the polling stations where ballots were nullified were scattered in all 14 provinces.
One official said the most widespread fraud appeared to have been in Diyala province. A coalition including the Iraqi Islamic Party, the largest Sunni political group, led in Diyala with 21.1 percent of the vote followed by a Kurdish alliance with 17.2 percent, according to preliminary results. Al-Maliki's coalition finished fourth in Diyala with 9.5 percent.
Also Sunday, a bomb hidden in a garbage pile killed one person and wounded 18 others in Sadr City. A roadside bomb in another predominantly Shiite Baghdad neighborhood, Talibiyah, missed a passing police patrol Sunday and injured three civilians, said a police official.
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