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Thousands turned away from Iraq polls due to lack of ballots

[JURIST] Iraqi interim President Ghazi al-Yawer [BBC profile] has said that tens of thousands of would-be voters were unable to vote in the Iraqi elections [JURIST hot topic] because several polling places, including those in Baghdad, Basra and Najaf ran out of ballots. Abdul-Hussein al-Hendawi, head of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, said that the "The elections took place under difficult conditions, and this undoubtedly deprived a number of citizens in a number of areas from voting." The IECI has established a complaints process [IECI factsheet]. AP has more.

Meanwhile, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, head of the Shia coalition, has said that his group has won "a sweeping victory" in Sunday's elections, but hasn't provided evidence of his claim. Hakim said his coalition would include minority groups, including Sunni Arabs, when the parliament begins writing a new constitution for Iraq. The Guardian has more.

9:32 AM ET - The Sunni Association of Muslim Clerics [RFE/RL backgrounder], which had previously called on Iraq's Sunni population to boycott the January 30 election, issued a statement Wednesday saying that the poll lacked legitimacy as large numbers of Sunnis did not vote. The clerics said that the new assembly therefore lacked any mandate to create a permanent Iraqi constitution. AP has more.

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