Preliminary results of Iraqi elections as early as Thursday

09:52, March 11, 2010      

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Preliminary results of Iraq's landmark elections are expected to be released on Thursday, said a UN official.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki casts his ballot at a polling station in Baghdad, capital of Iraq, on March 7, 2010. Iraq began its official voting for the country's crucial parliamentary election in the early morning on Sunday. This is the second national poll since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime from U.S.-led invasion in 2003. (Xinhua/Zhang Ning)

"I am confident that it will be possible by tomorrow to have preliminary results announced," Ad Melkert, the UN special representative to Iraq, told a news conference in Baghdad.

Melkert praised the country's elections process, saying "the vote has been impressed by the professional way that these elections have taken place."

Melkert called on all Iraqi parties to accept the results of the voting which he described as professional and honest.

"This is an honest process and that's why it is very important to accept the preliminary results by all," he said, adding that the counting process also was an honest one.

However, Melkert said the overall assessment will have to wait until the announcement of the final results and the certification by the federal supreme court.

Melkert also called for mutual respect among the contesting political parties, saying the "election always leads to relative winners and relative losers, but all candidates whether winning or losing make up together the value of the elections."

Iraqi politicians and some local media gave conflicted informal results for Sunday's voting, mainly based on preliminary count at thousands of polling centers across the country at the end of the voting day.

The informal results showed Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law list won in Baghdad and the predominantly southern Shiite provinces, while the results claimed that the Iraqia List, headed by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi also won in Baghdad and the Sunni provinces in north and west of the capital.

On Monday, the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq ( IHEC) said the voters turnout in the country's parliamentary elections was 62.4 percent.

It said that the highest turnout was in the Kurdish province of Duhuk in northern Iraq with 80 percent and the lowest turnout was in Maysan province in southern the country with 50 percent.

On Sunday. more than 18 million Iraqis were eligible to cast their ballots in some 8,920 polling centers across the country to vote for the 325-seat Iraqi Council of Representatives out of some 6,300 candidates.

Source: Xinhua
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