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Iraqi Election Official Rejects Sunni Call For Repeat Vote

20 December 2005 -- The head of Iraq's electoral commission today rejected a call from the leading Sunni Arab coalition to repeat the 15 December parliamentary elections in Baghdad due to perceived flaws.

Chairman Hussein Hindawi acknowledged there might have been some violations, but he said they were minor and would not affect the overall results in any province.

Earlier today, the leader of the National Concord Front, Adnan al-Dulaimi, criticized partial election results in the capital and called for a new ballot.

Partial results from the elections suggested the Shi'ite bloc -- the United Iraqi Alliance -- received 59 percent of the vote in the capital. The National Concord Front came a distant second with less than 19 percent.

Baghdad and its surrounding province is a key area, as it possesses more than three times more seats in parliament of any other region.

Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to Baghdad Zalmay Khalilzad urged Iraqi leaders to form a broad-based "cross-sectarian and cross-ethnic" government.


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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