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Ballot boxes thrown out in Iraq election fraud investigation

[JURIST] The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) [official website] announced Monday that it would disregard 227 ballot boxes from the December 15 parliamentary elections [JURIST news archive] in response to 58 serious complaints of election fraud [JURIST report]. Since Iraqis voted at about 6,200 voting centers across the country with an average of 5 ballot boxes each, the 227 boxes to be thrown out represent a negligible amount and should not greatly affect the results of the elections. Election official said that 53 of the boxes were set aside because it was shown that too many votes were cast. Almost half of the election fraud complaints came from Baghdad, the country's largest election district which holds 59 seats in the 275-member parliament. The International Mission for Iraqi Elections [official website], conducting its own investigation [JURIST report], is expected to release its final report Thursday, while the electoral commission hopes to release its uncertified final results shortly after. The commission will then have to respond to any new allegations of election fraud and could release certified results in early February. The governing United Iraqi Alliance will then take on the task of forming a coalition government with Sunni Arab and Kurdish parties. AP has more.

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