IRAQ: Final Iraqi election results give Shi'ite Islamist Alliance biggest share of votes but no absolute...
- Title: IRAQ: Final Iraqi election results give Shi'ite Islamist Alliance biggest share of votes but no absolute majority.
- Date: 21st January 2006
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAFWATT RASHEED, MEMBER OF THE IRAQI ELECTORAL INDEPENDENT COMMISSION, ANNOUNCING RESULTS: "The Iraqi Coalition list (Shi'ite Islamist Alliance), number of votes is 5,121,137 votes: 109 seats in the provinces, 19 national seats, a total of 128 seats. The Kurdistani coalition got 2,642,000 votes: 43 seats in the provinces and 10 national seats -- a total of 53 seats. The Iraqi Accordance Front got 1, 840, 216 votes: 37 seats in the provinces and seven national seats, a total of 44 seats." NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAFWATT RASHEED, MEMBER OF THE IRAQI ELECTORAL INDEPENDENT COMMISSION, SAYING: "Of course, when cancelling 296 ballot boxes, yes, it has an effect (on results). But after intensive checking we realised that these ballot boxes were irregular and should be deleted (from the count)." WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAFWATT RASHEED, MEMBER OF THE IRAQI ELECTORAL INDEPENDENT COMMISSIONSAYING: "According to us, the investigation has been completed. If there are any more complaints, the Electoral Committee will be informed and someone will represent the committee and discuss the complaints" VARIOUS OF NEWS CONFERENCE (2 SHOTS)
- Reuters ID: LVAESXCCB5TU0UCCKST62XXXG830
- Location: Iraq
- Country: Iraq
- Duration: 00:02:03
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Story Text: The final results of Iraq's December 15 election were announced on Friday (January 20), giving the Shi'ite Islamist Alliance 128 seats -- 10 short of a majority, the Electoral Commission announced.
The results are in line with expectations and earlier counts and pave the way for negotiations to begin on a national unity government promoted by the United States.
The results gave the Kurdish bloc 53 seats and former prime minister Iyad Allawi's secular list 25 seats in the 275-seat chamber, Electoral Commission official Safwatt Rasheed told a news conference.
He said the two main Sunni Arab groups, the Accordance Front and the National Dialogue Front, won 44 and 11 places respectively.
Parties have two days to appeal before the results are certified as definitive.
Some Sunni Arab and secular parties had complained of vote-rigging in the poll, but international monitors brought in to address the complaints gave the election process a mostly clean bill of health on Thursday (January 19), clearing the way for the results to be released.
Rasheed said 296 ballot boxes had been omitted from the vote count because of irregularities.
"According to us, the investigation has been completed. If there will be any more complaints, the Electoral Committee will be informed and someone will represent the committee and discuss the complaints with him," Rasheed said.
Despite the rejection of their complaints about the vote, many Sunni political leaders are already discussing places in a grand coalition government and talks are expected to start shortly with Shi'ite and Kurdish groups.
The results announcement took place amid tight security, with police on alert for attacks by Sunni rebels. Police blocked off roads between Baghdad and the restive provinces of Anbar, Salahaddin and Diyala -- the rebels' heartlands.
Most Iraqis seemed to welcome the final results, saying they want a government that will not create further divisions.
"We are welcoming the success of any list (candidates). There are no sectarian, or ethnic differences, there is no difference between the Iraqi sects," said Mohammed Najim, a Baghdad resident.
Riyadh Haqqi said that the most important thing for Iraqis is a fair government that will provide essential services.
"We are not opposing any government, the most important thing is that it will be a fair government, not like the coalition list. (A government) that will supply water, electricity and other services," he said.
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