Iraq vote results due within days amid surge of unrest

AFP , Saturday 17 May 2014

Iraq's election commission said Saturday the results from last month's general election would finally be released within days as nationwide attacks pushed this year's death toll to more than 3,500.

The Independent High Electoral Commission said delays in the count after the April 30 vote were because of a litany of complaints, and said provisional results -- which are subject to further challenge -- would be published on either Sunday or Monday.

Although results have not been released, political parties have nevertheless sought to build alliances in a bid to get a head start on government formation, with incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki seeking a third term.

Maliki's critics accuse him of consolidating power and blame him for a marked deterioration in security in recent months.

Nevertheless, Maliki's political party is still expected to win the most seats in parliament, despite probably falling short of a majority on his own.

Attacks in and around Baghdad and north Iraq killed seven people on Saturday, pushing the 2014 death toll to more than 3,500, according to an AFP tally.

Four people died in a roadside bombing in a market area of the predominantly Sunni Arab town of Tarmiyah north of Baghdad, officials said.

Separate bombings in Latifiyah south of the capital, and in Salaheddin province in the north, killed two soldiers, and a civil servant was shot dead in Baghdad itself.

On Friday, shelling killed four people in the militant-held city of Fallujah a short drive west of Baghdad, where troops have gone on the offensive without making much apparent headway.

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