Maliki Claims Massive Fraud as Iran Backs Sunnis’ Inclusion in Govt

State of Law Bloc Claims it Was 'Cheated' Out of 20 Seats

If last night’s comments by Iranian Ambassador Qomi in favor of a “national unity government” in Iraq including the Sunni dominated Iraqiya bloc was a step forward for settling the Iraqi election in a timely fashion, the comments by the State of Law bloc today were several steps backward.

According to the alliance, led by current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, some 750,000 votes in the March 7 election are “in doubt,” and the bloc believes it was cheated out of as many as 20 seats in the next parliament.

The claim itself is unsurprising, as the State of Law bloc has repeatedly claimed to have proof that, despite being the ruling party, they were somehow the victims of electoral fraud perpetrated by an opposition bloc that not only had little say over the election process, but saw several of its top candidates banned ahead of the vote. But the numbers are staggering.

Iraqiya defeated State of Law 91-89 in the election, and either side requires 163 seats to form a government. Between calls for a full, manual recount and the long negotiations needed to collect enough seats for a government, the process is likely to take many, many months.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.