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Iraqi Sunnis Say Baghdad Vote Fraudulent

20 December 2005 -- Iraq's leading Sunni Arab coalition has criticized partial election results in Baghdad and called for a new ballot.

The announcement was made today by Adnan al-Dulaimi, leader of the Iraqi Accordance Front.

Partial results from the 15 December parliamentary elections show the Shi'ite bloc -- the United Iraqi Alliance -- receiving 59 percent of the vote in the capital. The Iraqi Accordance Front came a distant second with about 19 percent.

Baghdad and its surrounding province is the key contest in the vote as it will account for more than three times more seats in parliament than any other region.

In other news, the U.S. military announced that eight former officials in Saddam Hussein's government have been released from U.S. custody in Iraq, saying they no longer posed a security threat.

Those released were not named, but reports said they include two women who had been working in Saddam's biological weapons program.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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