Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, whose coalition has fallen into second place as the national vote tally nears completion, is demanding a manual recount of the votes from Iraq’s March 7 parliamentary election. The Independent High Electoral Commission rejected Maliki’s call to, in his words, "preserve the integrity of the electoral process." The commission told the press there were not “compelling reasons” and enough evidence of widespread fraud in the vote to have a recount. Commission heads said the polls had been transparent and closely monitored, including by the United Nations. Because seats in Iraq’s parliament are apportioned according to province-by-province vote totals, the election is too close to call. Maliki’s group leads by that measure, but the secular Iraqiya coalition leads nationwide.