News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIraqi demonstrators protest alleged electoral fraud

Iraqi demonstrators protest alleged electoral fraud

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AFP: Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of
Samarra on Wednesday to denounce alleged electoral fraud in Iraq’s general elections which gave Shiite-based religious parties a commanding lead in the preliminary results. SAMARRA, Iraq, Dec 28 (AFP) – Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Samarra on Wednesday to denounce alleged electoral fraud in Iraq’s general elections which gave Shiite-based religious parties a commanding lead in the preliminary results.

Demonstrators in the town 125 kilometres (80 miles) north of the capital, held banners calling for the dismissal of the electoral commission and the formation of a government of national unity.

“Jaafari. Hands off. This country doesn’t want you,” read one banner referring to the outgoing Shiite prime minister, Ibrahim Jaafari, who says he is prepared to form a new government after the December 15 polls.

On Tuesday, thousands of demonstrators, from Sunni Arab and secular parties, took to the streets of Baghdad and Tikrit to demand new elections.

But Abdel Aziz Hakim, leader of a formerly Iran-based religious party that is one of the main planks of the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance, has ruled out any possibility of election re-runs.

“The election results cannot be invalidated,” said Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. “Elections cannot be held anew.”

Hakim and Kurdish leaders were meeting in northern Iraq on Wednesday to discuss the formation of a new government even though final election results have yet to be announced.

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