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Iraq: Electoral Commission cancels results of 103 vote centres

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

On Monday, Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission announced the cancellation of the results of 103 vote centres of parliamentary elections, which were held on 12 May, after the verification of dozens of “red complaints.”

The “red complaints” are those that Electoral Commission deems “extremely serious violations (such as forgery and manipulation) that affect the outcome of competing lists at the vote centres.”

In a statement that Anadolu News Agency obtained a copy of, the Commission said that “the Board of Commissioners (the exclusive authority which deals with complaints in the Electoral Commission) has investigated 1,436 complaints that have been submitted about the voting day, and have then been classified by the specialized committees in the Council.”

It pointed out that there were 33 “red complaints” and after checking them, these complaints resulted in the cancellation of the results of 103 vote centres in the governorates of Al-Anbar , Nineveh, Saladin and Erbil as well as Baghdad, out of 53,000 voting centres across the country.

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The Commission did not explain the effects of the cancellation of the votes of these offices on the announced results of the elections.

With regard to the appeals on the results of the elections, the Commission said that it still receiving appeals in its offices in the governorates and the capital Baghdad, and it will later issue its final decisions on them, without mentioning a specific date.

According to the final results of the Iraqi elections, Saairun Alliance, led by Muqtada Al-Sadr, won 54 seats, followed by Al-Fatah Alliance (includes factions of the Popular Mobilization Forces) with 47 seats, then Victory Alliance with 42 seats.

The results were announced on 19 May, 2018, amid a widespread debate in the country over alleged forgery operations.

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The Turkmen and Arabs in Kirkuk Governorate, northern Iraq, have protested against the results of the elections, confirmed the manipulation of the results in the governorates of Erbil, Kirkuk and the rest of the disputed areas and demanded a manual recount of the votes.

The elections, which have been held on 12 May, are the first in Iraq after the defeat of the terrorist group Daesh at the end of last year, and the second since the US withdrawal from the Arab country in 2011.

The new parliament is expected to elect the president of the republic and the prime minister in preparation for the formation of the new government.

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