An election recount in Baghdad will start on Monday and may take three weeks, Iraqi officials said on Thursday.
The recount in the capital has delayed certification of the election results and led to a prolonged period of political uncertainty.
Electoral commissioner Hamdiya al-Husseini said the manual recount of more than 2.5 million ballots in Baghdad, which accounts for over a fifth of seats in the 325-seat parliament, would also include votes cast abroad and by troops, police, detainees and the sick.
"Monday ... has been set as a date to start the recounting process. We estimated it would take from two to three weeks for the recount but this could change," she said on Thursday.
Observers from the United Nations and the European Union are willing to advise Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission during the recount process, IHEC chief Faraj al-Haidari said.
A review panel ordered the recount earlier this month after Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's bloc filed a case with it, alleging fraud.
Shi'ite groups are also seeking to have the panel wipe out the votes given to candidates with alleged ties to Saddam's outlawed Baath party, most of whom are from former prime minister Iyad Allawi's Iraqiya list.
Maliki's State of Law won 89 seats, according to preliminary results, while Iraqiya came first with 91 seats.
The U.S. military says its plans to stop combat operations in August, ahead of a full withdrawal by end-2011.
ReutersLast Mod: 30 Nisan 2010, 08:18