Iraq's main Sunni Arab coalition challenged results parliamentary elections

Iraq's main Sunni Arab political coalition on Tuesday challenged preliminary results from last week's parliamentary elections and warned that any attempt to falsify the outcome could further destabilize the country. A statement issued by the Iraqi Accordance Front, a coalition of three Sunni Arab groups, said partial results issued Monday from the Dec. 15 elections did not match those recorded by its own monitors.

"The Iraqi Accordance Front publicly announces that it challenges these results and it considers them to be a falsification of the will of the people," it said in an announcement.

It added that the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq still had a chance to correct any mistakes.

"We hope that this will happen quickly and without any hesitation," it said. "Otherwise, the commission bears full responsibility. Falsifying the will of the voters in this flagrant manner will have grave repercussions on security and political stability" and will threaten the future of the political process.

Iraq's electoral commission released partial and preliminary results that showed Shiite and Kurdish parties dominating in provinces where they are the predominant group. They also showed the religious Shiite United Iraqi Alliance with a majority in Baghdad province, Iraq's biggest electoral district where 2,161 candidates are running for 59 of parliament's 275 seats.

In Baghdad province, elections officials said the United Iraqi Alliance took about 59 percent of the votes from 89 percent of ballot boxes counted. The Iraqi Accordance Front received about 19 percent, and the Iraqi National List headed by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a secular-minded Shiite, trailed with nearly 14 percent.

"We call on our people and supporters ... to maintain quiet to give the commission a chance to respond to our demands. Otherwise, the front will have a different position that will be announced at that time,” reports the AP. I.L.

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