Iraq declined Washington's suggestion

Iraq's election body rejected a suggestion in &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Washington it adjust the results of next month's vote to benefit the Sunni minority if low turnout in Sunni areas means Shi'ites win an exaggerated majority in the new assembly.

Speaking of "unacceptable" interference, Electoral Commission spokesman Farid Ayar said: "Who wins, wins. That is the way it is. That is the way it will be in the election."

U.S. diplomats in &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Baghdad, at pains to keep their role in the election discreet, declined comment on a New York Times report from Washington which said Sunnis might be granted extra seats if the community's vote was judged to have been too low, informs Reuters.

About 60 percent of Iraqi citizens are &to=http:// 21/93/375/13145_Fallujah.html ' target=_blank>Shiites, a separate branch of Islam, according to the Congressional Research Service. About a third are Sunnis, who ruled the country under now-deposed President Saddam Hussein. Two US Senators Levin, of Michigan, and Lugar, an Indiana Republican who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said they opposed quotas even as they favored an accommodation between the majority Shiites and the minority Sunnis.

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