Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraq’s beleaguered elections commission has vowed to appeal an order by the parliament to conduct a recount of parliament elections votes at a number of stations.
The commission’s board said in a statement on Thursday it will “use its legal and constitutional right to challenge the third amendment to the elections law”, adding it “performed its duties transparently, and would not allow any party to intervene with its decisions”.
On Wednesday, the Iraqi parliament approved amendments to the elections law that would permit a manual recount of votes cast during the parliament elections held last month, the first Iraq holds since the ouster of Islamic State militants late 2017.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Tuesday his cabinet approved a report enumerating breaches during the parliament elections held last month, laying blame on the commission that oversaw the polls.
Speaking during his weekly press briefing, Abadi said “the panel formed by the cabinet has found cases of forgery at some polling stations, and the (High Independent) commission bears responsibility”.
He said “the cabinet voted for (approval of) the panel’s findings”, adding that “reliance on unchecked (counting) devices in the elections had put is into trouble”.
Among the panel’s recommendations approved by the cabinet, one that provides for cancelling the results of expatriate voters, as well as conducting a recount of 5% of voting stations.
The prime minister noted that some elections commission members are banned from travel except with his approval.
The Iraqi parliament had earlier called for a recount at 10 percent of voting units, and cancelling expatriate votes.
According to official results of the elections held on May 12th, Abadi’s al-Nasr list came third. First came Saeroon list, sponsored by Shia leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, a populist seeking to break away from Iranian influence and scathingly opposed to foreign military presence in Iraq. Second came al-Fatah, an alliance of former leaders of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, the Shia-led troops that backed government forces campaign, under Abadi, to drive out Islamic State militants since 2014.