More than a month after Iraq’s inconclusive election, votes cast in Baghdad will be recounted, raising the chance of a reversal in the results.
An election panel ordered the manual recount for the capital which accounts for 68 seats in the 325- seat parliament, making it a key prize.
The development will delight incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki whose Shi’ite-led alliance had complained of electoral irregularities. His bloc believes it will benefit from the move.
It came second in March’s nationwide ballot, just behind former prime minister Iyad Allawi’s cross-sectarian group, backed by minority Sunnis.
But Iraq is still waiting for formal, final results. And, without a clear winner, the country faces months of negotiations on a new government. They are overshadowed by the threat of attacks from a Sunni Islamist insurgency, still killing dozens of people a month in suicide attacks and shootings.