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Iraqi Electoral Commission Breaks Silence, Defends Voting Results

Iraqi Electoral Commission Breaks Silence, Defends Voting Results

Monday, 28 May, 2018 - 08:30
The head of Iraq's Independent Higher Election Commission Dr. Riyad al-Badran. (Reuters)

A week after doubts, accusations and calls for cancellation surrounding the final results of Iraq’s parliamentary election, the Independent Higher Election Commission broke its longstanding silence and issued a lengthy statement.

In response to overall objections and backlash against the electoral process and results, the commission – acting under government orders— reaffirmed that e-polling is part of the national constitution since the 2013 amendment on regulations pertaining to parliamentary elections.

However, the statement did not address Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi referring results to a government integrity commission for a probe.

Abadi’s move came after he argued that the e-polling was conducted without contracting with licensed companies to examine voting systems.

As for arguments on the voting of displaced people, the commission said that they represent at most an approximate 2 percent of the number of polling stations.

It added that after registering violations, several of these stations were canceled.

The statement concluded that the polling process and vote count were conducted under ministerial and international supervision, adding its willingness to provide any data needed to cement confidence in results.

Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court, meanwhile, rejected a request to cancel the parliamentary election results over allegations of voting irregularities, but said it will accept complaints put forth by doubters.

Objections citing irregularities in balloting were raised by several political parties suggesting that hackers may have manipulated results.

“The Iraqi supreme federal court met and discussed the complaints and decided not to proceed any further," the spokesman of the court, Eyas Al Samok said.

Samok stated that the issue must be raised to the Independent High Electoral Commission, “which is responsible for accepting complaints and objections to alleged violations during the election period.”

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