Allawi: International Supervision Needed for Recount

Fears of Manipulation by Maliki Govt

Iraqiya bloc head Ayad Allawi today said that he would give his support to the Baghdad recount ordered by the election commission, provided that the recount was done under “tight international supervision.”

The commission announced the recount yesterday after over a month of demands by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Maliki’s State of Law bloc lost to Iraqiya 91-89 in the preliminary vote count, but Maliki has predicted that they will gain seats in the recount.

It is the certainty of the State of Law bloc that has many in Iraqiya worried. The election commissions are stacked with Maliki supporters, and have talked openly about disqualifying some of Iraqiya’s victorious MPs and replacing them with members of some other bloc.

Maliki has already ordered some of the winning MPs detained, following a Supreme Court ruling that it is not the number of seats won in the election that matters so much as the number of MPs left when the parliament finally convenes.

For Allawi this all spells one thing: a plan to rig the election a month and a half after it was held. With the level of distrust between the two factions it is hard to blame him, and after the international community praised the initial election a serious “revision” of the results will be difficult to justify.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.