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Iraqi Officials Say Election Recount To Start July 3

IRAQ -- Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who's bloc came first, looks at Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who's political bloc came third in a May parliamentary election, during a news conference in Najaf, Iraq June 23, 2018.

Iraqi election monitors say a manual recount of the country's disputed parliamentary vote will begin July 3.

Initial results from the May elections gave the bloc of Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr the largest share of votes.

However, the voting was overshadowed by accusations of fraud after election officials used electronic machines to count the votes.

Leith Hamza, spokesman for the Independent High Electoral Commission, said June 30 that the recount would be monitored by the United Nations, local party officials and diplomats.

The May vote was the country's first since Baghdad declared victory over Islamic State militants in December.

Based on reporting by AP, DPA