Iraq releases, then withdraws, early Baghdad poll results (Lead)

March 13th, 2010 - 10:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, March 13 (DPA) Iraq’s electoral commission Saturday released, then quickly withdrew, early results from Baghdad that showed Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s coalition leading in the capital.
Al-Sumaria television reported that the electoral commission had said the early results from Baghdad, which will be represented by 68 out of 325 seats in the new parliament, released earlier were “unofficial” and “should be discarded.”

Official, preliminary results from Badghad would be released later in the day, officials from Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) said.

Iraqi politicians from across the political spectrum have criticised the slow and chaotic process of counting the votes as raising questions about the tally’s fairness.

Results announced earlier pointed to a slim lead for al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition over former prime minister Ayad Allawi’s Iraqi List, with an alliance of mostly religious Shiite parties close behind.

The electoral commission had reported that al-Maliki’s coalition was leading in six provinces to the south of Baghdad, while Allawi’s coalition was maintaining its lead in the northern provinces of Diyala and Salah al-Din.

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