The head of the Iraqiyya opposition bloc, former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, raised questions on Wednesday about the integrity and fairness of Iraq's parliamentary elections.
Allawi issued a press release stating that, "real democracy is about political pluralism, strong institutions, an independent judiciary and the peaceful handover of power," as reported by Al-Quds news agency.
Allawi lamented "the silence of the political forces on the violations committed against democratic tenets," and accused the "ruling side" of "seizing power through unfair elections and through resorting to arrests, intimidation and the illegal exclusion of candidates who enjoy respect" among Iraqis. He claimed that the ballot counting process was manipulated and cited the fact that the results were not announced promptly enough as evidence of there being serious violations.
The former prime minister alleged that the façade of democracy hid these attempts to consolidate authoritarianism.
Allawi criticised the electoral processes as being marred by "coercion, bribery from public funds, the distribution of lands, the influence of wide military operations in various governorates, flooding a number of cities and villages and preventing voters from reaching polling stations," ultimately calling the results rigged.
The statement concluded that: "For all of those reasons and others, the Iraqiyya bloc, which had repeatedly called for holding elections under the supervision of a transitional government that does not nominate candidates for the election in order for the elections' fairness and transparency to be ensured, believes that the results announced by the commission are far from legal, fair or transparent."