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Iraq Elections Watchdog Says January Poll Results Final

Sealed ballot boxes at a warehouse in the Iraqi city of Ramadi on February 1
BAGHDAD (Reuters) -- The results of Iraq's January provincial elections are final and complaints have been rejected, the country's election watchdog has said.

The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) said it had received 593 complaints about the polls, which took place peacefully and saw allies of Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki do well at the expense of more religious groups.

"Iraqi judges have approved all the [election results] adopted by the IHEC...after all complaints were rejected, and these decisions are considered final," IHEC member Hamdiya al-Husseini told Reuters.

The polls took place without a single major attack, making them the country's most peaceful elections since U.S. forces toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Complaints about the election results included voters not finding their names on the electoral register, and elderly voters being coerced into voting for particular parties.

Despite the complaints, the poll results have been broadly accepted by Iraq's political groups.