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No Fraud Found in Baghdad Election Recount

An Iraqi election official says a recount of votes in Baghdad from the March parliamentary elections is finished and officials found no signs of fraud.

In a Friday news conference, electoral commission spokesman Qassim al-Aboudi said officials completed a recount of more than 11,000 ballot boxes and found no major violations. He said a formal announcement of the results would be made Monday.

Election officials began the recount on May 3 following an appeal from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition. The coalition said it had uncovered evidence of widespread fraud in five provinces, including Baghdad. The Iraqi capital accounts for nearly a fifth of the country's 325-seat parliament.

The Baghdad recount is unlikely to change the overall results of the election which gave former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya alliance a lead of two parliamentary seats over Mr. Maliki's coalition.

Last week, the electoral commission asked the country's supreme court to ratify the election results from all of the provinces, except Baghdad. The commission said it decided to submit the results for ratification at the request of Iraq's presidential council, which includes President Jabal Talabani and two vice presidents.

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