April 20th, 2010
07:23 PM ET

Allawi concerned about Iraq recount process

Former Iraqi Prime MInister Ayad Allawi, whose slate was the apparent winner of last month's elections, said Tuesday he backs a manual recount of Baghdad votes ordered by an appeals court but is concerned that other areas should be recounted as well.

The court announced the recount on Monday in response to an appeal from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law coaltion, which fell two seats behind Allawi's Iraqiya slate.

Allawi said he believed election officials were pressured into the decision and he was concerned ballot manipulation may have taken place.

"We believe very strongly in the manual recount, but the issue is why no other areas have been included in the recount where there are accusations of problems that have occurred in Basrah, Najaf and Diwaniya," he said.

"We are worried about where the ballot boxes have been kept, since the election until today," he said. "Over a month-and-a-half have elapsed. We really don't know where those boxes have been, we don't know who [had] access to them, and we don't know whether they have been tampered with."

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