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Iraq declares curfew, recount in Kirkuk after ‘illogical’ vote count

An Iraqi woman casts her vote at a polling station for the Iraqi parliamentary election in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq on May 12, 2018 [Feriq Fereç / Anadolu Agency]
An Iraqi woman casts her vote at a polling station for the Iraqi parliamentary election in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq on 12 May 2018 [Feriq Fereç/Anadolu Agency]

The governor of Iraq’s Kirkuk province declared a curfew on Saturday and ordered a manual recount of votes there in the national election, saying an electronic counting system had produced an “illogical” result.

Rakan al-Jubouri, governor of the northern oil-rich region, announced a curfew from midnight until 6 am (0300 GMT) to prevent any ethnic or sectarian tension between its Kurdish, Arab and ethnic Turkmen communities.

Al-Jubouri did not elaborate in his statement on the problem with the vote-counting system.

In October, Iraqi forces backed by Shia militias dislodged Kurdish Peshmerga fighters who had taken control of Kirkuk city in 2014, preventing its capture by Daesh militants who had overrun Iraqi army positions in northern and western Iraq.

The return of the Iraqi army to Kirkuk was greeted with relief by the Arab and Turkmen populations there.

Saturday’s elections are the first in Iraq since the defeat of Daesh last year by Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition.

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