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Iraq to Begin Election Recount

An Iraqi elections official says a manual recount of votes cast in Baghdad during the March 7 election will begin in a few days.

Commissioner Hamdiya al-Husseini says election officials need a couple of days to prepare for the recount, which she estimates will last at least 10 days.

A court ordered a recount of votes in the capital Monday following an appeal by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The prime minister's State of Law coalition said it had evidence of widespread fraud in five provinces, including Baghdad, that could have significantly affected the election outcome.

Official results announced earlier gave former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya alliance a slim lead over Prime Minister Maliki's coalition.

On Tuesday, Mr. Allawi said he supports the Baghdad recount but believes other areas that experienced problems during the election should be included.

The former prime minister's alliance won 91 seats in the election, two more than Mr. Maliki's coalition. Both groups have been seeking coalition partners to build a parliamentary majority.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.