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Iraq's top court ratifies manual recount of May ballots

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's top court has ratified the results of the country's May parliamentary elections following a manual ballot recount ordered by the outgoing chamber following charges of irregularities.

The Federal Court's decision on Sunday paves the way for the president to summon lawmakers to an inaugural session of the new, 329-seat house. In theory, parliament should then proceed to elect a speaker, a president and a prime minister, who will in turn form a new government.

However, political wrangling over who gets to be prime minister will likely delay the process for weeks, maybe months. A coalition led by maverick Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr won the largest number of seats, 54, followed by an alliance of government-sanctioned militias known as Hashed, with 47.

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