Iraqi electoral body orders manual recount of votes in parliamentary polls

voting (representational photo)

Baghdad ( – The Independent High Electoral Commission in Iraq decided Sunday to conduct a manual recount of parliamentary election votes at constituencies where electoral fraud was proven to have taken place.

Judge Laith Hamza, the commission’s spokesman, told Alsumaria News TV channel that his commission has ordered directors of electoral offices in the governorates where irregularities were reported to transfer the ballot boxes along with electronic polling devices to the designated places in the city of Baghdad, where the manual recount will take place.

The exact venue and date of the manual recount process will be determined later, Hamza said, adding that representatives of the United Nations, political entities and agents of parliamentary candidates will be allowed to attend the manual recount of votes.

Last month, a parliamentary fact-finding committee in Iraq stressed that it has clear evidence of vote-rigging in the May 12 parliamentary elections, the first in the country since the defeat of Islamic State last year.

“The parliament’s fact-finding committee received strong evidence that there were manipulation and fraud in the recent parliamentary polls,” the committee’s head Adel Nuri told Iraqi website Alghad Press.

The elections were originally scheduled for September 2017, but were delayed due to the country’s fight against Islamic State, which ended in December 2017 with the recapture of their remaining territories.

Even with more than 10 million Iraqis voting, the elections saw a record low turnout, with 44 percent of eligible voters casting ballots.

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