Baghdad Recount Sets Stage for More Delays, Tension

Maliki Predicts 'Changed' Results After Long-Sought Recount

Iraq’s election commission announced today that it was ordering a full manual recount of all the ballots cast in Baghdad in the March 7 election, a move which Nouri al-Maliki predicted would alter the results of the vote which saw his bloc trailing 91-89 to the Iraqiya faction.

The election saw Iraqiya take a surprising number of seats in Sunni areas of the nation, and while Maliki’s State of Law bloc won the Baghdad vote 26-24, the victory wasn’t nearly as wide as his adherents predicted.

Since then Maliki and several of his top aides have accused Iraqiya of somehow defrauding them, even though by all accounts Iraqiya had less influence on the election and the commissions than almost anyone, up to and including the successful attempts by the nation’s Justice and Accountability Commission (JAC) to ban Iraqiya’s top Sunni candidates from the vote.

With Iraqiya already crying foul over Maliki’s summary detentions of some of their victorious candidates, it seems inevitable that the recount will raise more questions than it answers. Maliki’s certainty that the recount will benefit him materially will likely be seen as no mere prescience, but rather an orchestrated effort to steal the election.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.