Sunni Arabs and a key secular party charged that parliamentary elections were tainted by fraud, and demanded an inquiry into preliminary results showing the governing Shiite religious bloc with a larger than expected lead.
With politicians barely containing their hostility toward each other Tuesday, the bitter climate raised questions about US hopes that the Dec. 15 vote will lead to a more inclusive government involving Sunni Arabs, the minority group that formed the core of Saddam Hussein's government and is now the backbone of the insurgency.
The complaints focused mainly on Baghdad, Iraq's largest electoral district and one that has large numbers of Sunnis and Shiites. With 89 percent of ballot boxes counted, the Shiite bloc United Iraqi Alliance were leading in the province with about 59 percent of the vote, while the Sunni Arab alliance, the Iraqi Accordance Front, trailed with 19 percent.
Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Sunni Arab alliance the Iraqi Accordance Front, listed several complaints, including voting centers failing to open, shortages in election materials and reports of multiple voting.