Updated at 9:01 p.m. EDT, May 3, 2010,
At least seven Iraqis were killed and 22 more were wounded as a manual recount of ballots begin today in Baghdad. The contentious recount was not without its own controversy as the prime minister’s party found fault with the procedures that could help them win more seats in the new parliament. Also, the D.O.D. reported the April 27th death of an American soldier who was wounded during a missle attack in Iskandariya.
The recount that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s party requested began today, but not without new complications. An hour after the count started, officials from the State of Law party asked that the count be halted over a disagreement about the process, but the count continued. Election Commission Chief Faraj al-Haidari and a State of Law official, Hussain al-Shahristani argued heatedly over the new challenge on live TV before the broadcast was cut off.
Although State of Law had requested recounts in several provinces, only the one for Baghdad was granted; however, the courts were more generous with State of Law’s demands than those from other blocs. Meanwhile, the elections panel is still waiting for word on the fate of nine winning candidates who may be disqualified for alleged ties to the Ba’ath Party.
The post-election jockeying for control of the new government has the potential to undermine fragile security gains. Rival Iraqiya beat State of Law by only two seats in March parliamentary elections, and many see the recount as a method for Maliki and the State of Law to erase that win. Their success could irrevocably anger Sunni Arabs who generally supported Iraqiya and would view this as stealing the election. Also, an unapproved request for a recount from the main Kurdish bloc was voluntarily withdrawn for the "national interest."
A car bomb targeting a police convoy in Sharqat killed two policemen and wounded four bystanders; one of the injured later died. One person was killed and six more were wounded in a roadside bomb blast.
The body of a policeman, who had been kidnapped and tortured, was found in Fallujah.
Police in Anbar formed several committees to assist surrendering gunmen.
Eleven suspects were captured in Basra.
Border guards backed by U.S. troops arrested five people accused of smuggling 27 boxes of cigarettes at the Syrian border.
In Hamdaniya, Christians with support of Arab Iraqis protested against attacks towards Christians.