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Election Recount Starts in Iraqi Capital

Iraqi officials have begun a recount of votes cast in Baghdad during the country's recent parliamentary election.

The recount was requested by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki after he alleged widespread fraud in five provinces, including Baghdad during the March 7 ballot.

Officials from the United Nations and the Iraqi election commission are monitoring the manual recount, which is expected to last between two and three weeks.

However, soon after the start of the recount, Mr. Maliki's State of Law Alliance complained that the recount was not being conducted properly. The complaint could lead to another delay.

The Iraqi capital accounts for nearly a fifth of Iraq's 325-seat parliament.

In the original vote, Mr. Maliki's alliance won in Baghdad by just two seats more than the Iraqiya alliance of former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. However, in the overall vote, Mr. Allawi's alliance has a narrow lead of two parliamentary seats.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP.