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Iraqi Interior Minister Calls for Vote Results Delay

Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani is demanding a delay in the release of the country's parliamentary election results.

The results of the full count were expected Friday.

The interior minister said Thursday the announcement should be postponed until the president, electoral commission and political parties can reach an agreement on how to investigate alleged voting irregularities.

Meanwhile, the head of the country's electoral commission told the Associated Press the election results separate the top two political parties by only one or two seats in parliament.

Independent High Electoral Commission chief, Faraj al-Haidari, said the vote tallying is complete and the commission is expected to sort through the electoral complaints before announcing the full election results.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's coalition narrowly trails former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's secular Iraqiya alliance with 95 percent of the votes tallied.

Iraq's electoral commission has rejected the prime minister's call for a manual recount, but says it will look into complaints of fraud.

On Wednesday, Mr. al-Maliki's supporters took to the streets in the southern cities of Basra and Nasiriyah to support his call for a recount.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.