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Iraq begins manual recount of disputed votes

Iraq begins manual recount of disputed votes
Over 2,000 ballot boxes in Nineveh, Babylon, Baghdad provinces to be reopened following objections to Oct 10 poll

By Haydar Karaalp

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AA) - Iraqi authorities began a limited manual recount on Wednesday of some of the ballots cast during the parliamentary elections held on Oct. 10.

The Iraqi High Election Commission reopened more than 2,000 ballot boxes subject to complaints by political parties in the provinces of Nineveh, Babylon, and Baghdad in the capital's high-security Green Zone.

The manual counting process will continue until 5 p.m. (1400GMT) for the ballot boxes from the northwestern Nineveh province, which were opened first.

On Thursday, the ballot boxes from Babylon and Baghdad will be reopened and their votes will be recounted manually.

There is no set deadline for the recount's completion.

Iraqis polled votes in more than 57,000 ballot boxes across the country in the early general elections that were held electronically.

- Sit-in against results continues

A sit-in protest by supporters of the Fatah Coalition and Hashd al-Shaabi entered its ninth day in front of the Green Zone, demanding a manual recount throughout the entire country.

The Sairoon Alliance led by Muqtada al-Sadr came first in the elections, taking 73 of parliament's 329 seats. It was followed by the Sunni Taqaddum (progress) bloc of parliament speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi with 38 seats and the State of Law bloc led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, which got 34 seats.

The election commission will announce the final results of the recount when it is completed, after which the final results will be sent to the country's Federal Court (Constitutional Court) for approval.

Within 10 days after the final election results are confirmed, the new parliament is required to hold its first session and elect the president and two vice-presidents.

Within a month of convening, the parliament will elect the president, who will name a candidate for prime minister to form the government.

After election, the prime minister will form a cabinet within 30 days and submit it to the parliament for approval.

* Writing by Seda Sevencan

source: News Feed
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