A fire raged through Baghdad’s largest ballot storage site on Sunday, just days after the Iraqi parliament ordered a recount of May’s election results amid accusations of fraud. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called the fire “a plot to harm the nation and its democracy.” “We will take all necessary measures and strike with an iron fist all who undermine the security of the nation and its citizens,” Abadi said in a statement. The fire was confined to one of four warehouses in Baghdad’s al-Russafa district, where 60 percent of the capital’s 2 million eligible voters had cast their ballots. The Interior Ministry said no ballot boxes were destroyed in the fire, which engulfed a warehouse containing vote-counting machines and other election equipment.Full Article: Iraq ballot warehouse up in flames before election recount | News | DW | 10.06.2018.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Iraq.
Iraq’s parliament voted on Wednesday in favor of a manual ballot recount after allegations of widespread fraud in the country’s recently held parliamentary elections, a lawmaker said, a development that could further prolong the process of forming a new government. Hours later, a pair of explosions ripped through a mosque in a mostly Shiite district in Baghdad, killing at least seven worshippers, including two children. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blasts. Parliament member Mohammed Saadoun said lawmakers voted on the election bill, which in effect constitutes an amendment to the country’s election law and also includes cancellation of vote results from balloting abroad and in camps for displaced people in four Sunni-dominated provinces. “This is meant to correct the election results and bring the political process in Iraq back on track after it was proven that fraud and manipulation of vote results took place,” he said.Full Article: Iraqi lawmakers approve manual ballot recount in May 12 vote | Charlotte Observer.
Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraq’s High Elections Commission announced on Wednesday it was cancelling voting results in the recent parliament elections from more than 1000 polling stations, adding it would hold violators accountable. It said its teams scrutinized 102 stations at 10 provinces where vote manipulation was reported by political parties, adding that violations were verified. The commission added it voluntarily scrutinized 2000 more stations, out of which 852 proved to have witnessed breaches, hence cancellation of results. It clarified that 67 stations for expatriate voters also had their results cancelled due to violations, including in the United States, Germany, the U.K., Sweden, Jordan and Turkey.Full Article: Iraq cancels parliament election results at more than 1000 stations.
Close to three weeks after parliamentary polls, confusion reigns in Iraq as allegations mount of election fraud even with negotiations to form a government well underway. Since the May 12 victory of anti-establishment electoral lists, long-time political figures pushed out by Iraqi voters hoping for change have called for a recount — with some even calling for the poll results to be cancelled. Iraqi authorities have agreed to review the results, but have yet to take any concrete measures. Experts say claims of fraud are more likely to stem from frustrated outgoing politicians, rather than any major electoral manipulations in a country determined to turn the page after a brutal three-year fight against the Islamic State group. In a surprise to many, the parliamentary poll saw populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr’s electoral alliance with Iraq’s communists beat a list of former anti-IS fighters close to Shiite Iran. “To cancel these results is not possible, it would lead to a crisis and perhaps armed clashes,” political analyst Essam al-Fili told AFP.Full Article: Flash - Confusion reigns in Iraq amid election fraud charges - France 24.
Iraq’s parliament successfully held its fourth emergency session to discuss election results on Monday, pushing the session until late afternoon while waiting for holding quorum. At least 165 lawmakers need to be attending for a parliamentary session to kick off legitimately. More so, the Iraqi parliament approved manual recounting of 10 percent of votes in the May 12 parliamentary election amid allegations of fraud, forgery and irregularities. If there is 25 percent difference between the results of the manual and electronic count, then all Iraqi provinces are to undergo a full manual recount.Full Article: Iraqi Parliament Approves Manual Recounting of Election Votes | Asharq AL-awsat.
The Iraqi parliament has urged an investigation into allegations of vote fraud in this month’s general election, passing a resolution seeking a partial recount. The non-binding resolution seeks to cancel ballots cast from overseas and within displacement camps inside the country and would require 10 per cent of all votes to be manually recounted. If cheating were discovered it could lead to a recount of all ballots nationwide. The move by MPs follows protests over alleged vote rigging on May 12. The proposed recount would be compared to electronic tallies, to address concerns that electronic voting machines had been hacked. “In case of discovery of fraud, then a recount would be carried out for all votes across the country,” Abdel Malik Al Husseini, spokesman for the speaker of parliament, told The National.Full Article: Iraq MPs demand partial recount of election results - The National.
Iraqi authorities have launched an inquiry into this month’s parliamentary elections after intelligence services found that the voting machines used were vulnerable to hacking. The May 12 poll delivered a shock win for populist cleric Moqtada Sadr, who faces a huge task to form a governing coalition despite winning the most seats in parliament. But with the results yet to be ratified by Iraq’s Supreme Court, a government official told parliament on Thursday that intelligence services had conducted tests which showed it was possible to hack voting machines and manipulate the results.Full Article: Iraq orders probe after voting machines fail hacking test - Al Arabiya English.
On May 21, a group of Iraqi parliament members submitted a request to the speaker to cancel the results of the May 12 parliamentary elections. The group also called for dissolving the Independent High Electoral Commission, discontinuing electronic voting and reinstating manual voting and sorting, with many legislators saying the elections were sabotaged. The next day, six Kurdish parties of the Iraqi Kurdistan region threatened to boycott the political process if their demand to cancel the results in Iraqi Kurdistan and other contested areas is not met. However, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the two main political parties that came in first and second in the provinces of the region, did not join in on the complaints. On May 18, the Independent High Electoral Commission announced the results of the elections. It also said that ballots cast in 103 polling stations in five provinces — Baghdad, Anbar, Salahuddin, Ninevah and Kirkuk — had been annulled because of sabotage and suspicions of fraud. However, the commission did not say whether the cancellation of those ballots actually changed the results.Full Article: Many Iraqi legislators call for canceling election results.
On May 12, Iraq held a remarkably successful and violence-free national election. A coalition of Shiite Islamists and communists led by Moqtada al-Sadr, running on a reform agenda, won the largest number of seats in the new parliament. Sitting Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s coalition placed third. While the results have generated considerable optimism, allegations of widespread electoral fraud have also emerged in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region and Kirkuk. There have been numerous calls to address and investigate these claims, including from the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). In these areas, results favored two long-dominant parties, the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). New parties and challengers widely expected to do well did not. These opposition parties claim to have faced systematic vote rigging. Combined with the low turnout, their disputes could cast doubts on the legitimacy of the election, with serious ramifications.Full Article: Was Iraq’s recent election a democratic success? Depends whom you ask. - The Washington Post.
The main Kurdish political parties in Iraq are exchanging accusations of widespread voter intimidation and vote rigging, even after Baghdad announced final results from the May 12 elections. Six Kurdish opposition parties are demanding a rerun of the election in the autonomous region and adjacent disputed territories. Several parties have filed formal complaints with the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) in Baghdad. While the allegations are yet to be matched by hard evidence, the fracas is undermining faith in the political process in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, which remains in political turmoil following a failed independence referendum last year.Full Article: Angry Iraqi Kurds file election complaints with Baghdad - The National.
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.”Full Article: Iraq: Electoral Commission cancels results of 103 vote centres – Middle East Monitor.
As demands for a manual voter recount surge amid claims of election fraud in the Iraqi general elections, the country’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) is concerned a ballot-by-ballot recount could portray the newly introduced electronic system as a failure, one member says. During a telephone interview with Voice of America, Saeed Kakei, a member of the IHEC, said his request for a manual recount was rejected by other members of the election commission who “feared” that a recount could possibly show the failure of the machines. “I told them we should work with transparency. What is the fear for?” Kakei told VOA. “I proposed that they manually recount 25 percent of the ballot boxes, or at least 5 percent, but they refused to do so.”Full Article: Iraq Election Body Feared Effects of Recount, Member Says.
Gunmen in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk were on Wednesday besieging several polling stations containing election staff, four days after a national vote, the head of the electoral commission said. Riyadh al-Badran said the gunmen, whom he did not identify, were putting pressure on the commission to change the election results in the multi-ethnic region. “The employees of the commission are in a hostage situation,” he said, calling on authorities to provide protection. On Wednesday evening, however, the head of Kirkuk’s law enforcement denied reports that election commission employees were being detained, adding that polling stations were secured and under the protection of counter-terrorism forces.Full Article: Iraqi election commission says Kirkuk voting stations under siege, staff inside | Reuters.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside an election office in this northern Iraqi city Wednesday to protest alleged fraud in last week’s parliamentary elections. The head of Iraq’s national election commission said at a news conference that armed men had taken over the election office and that the workers inside were “in effect, hostages,” but local officials and witnesses disputed that account, saying there was no sign of weapons at what appeared to be a peaceful demonstration. They said hundreds of ethnic Turkmen and Arab demonstrators massed outside the offices to protest alleged fraud after early returns showed a Kurdish party winning most of the vote. Oil-rich Kirkuk is at the heart of a long-running dispute between the Kurds, who claim it as part of their autonomous region, and the central government in Baghdad. The city’s Arab and Turkmen communities side with the central government.Full Article: Iraqis protest in Kirkuk over alleged voting fraud - The Washington Post.
Iraq has instructed security forces in the multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk to maintain order amid protests against alleged electoral fraud during the first vote since the defeat of Islamic State militants. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made the order on Sunday, after the city’s Kurdish and Turkmen communities rejected the initial results of the parliamentary election. “Abadi has commanded security forces in Kirkuk and throughout the province to provide security and to deal impartially with the election,” Abadi’s office said in an online statement. “The election commission must take measures to inspect the ballot boxes and announce the results to the public to guarantee a fair election,” it added.Full Article: Iraq Prime Minister Asks for Calm in Kirkuk Amid Election Fraud Protests | Al Bawaba.
The unexpectedly poor showing of Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s prime minister, in parliamentary elections has dealt a blow to US influence in the country. It was a poor return for American backing for the Baghdad government’s drive to extirpate Islamic State and regain lost territory. But the bigger loser may be Iran, whose allies in Iraq’s Shia militias known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces were pushed into second place by Moqtada al-Sadr, the veteran nationalist. Put simply, Sadr believes Iraqis should run Iraqi affairs – not Washington, not Tehran and not their proxies.Full Article: Iraq's shock election result may be turning point for Iran | World news | The Guardian.
Iraq began voting Saturday in its first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State group, with the country hoping to shore up a fragile peace and rebuild. Polling stations opened around the conflict-scarred nation under tight security as the jihadists still pose a major security threat despite a sharp fall in violence. The ballot comes with tensions surging between key players Iran and the United States over the nuclear deal, sparking fears of a destabilising power struggle over Iraq. Roughly 24.5 million voters face a fragmented political landscape five months after IS were ousted, with the dominant Shiites split, the Kurds in disarray and Sunnis sidelined.Full Article: Iraq holds first nationwide election since Islamic State group defeat - France 24.
Iraq will close its airports and border crossings for 24 hours during its May 12 election, the first held since it defeated Islamic State militants, the electoral security committee said on Wednesday. The shutdown will come into effect at midnight on Friday. Security forces will also suspend travel between provinces and restrict the movement of vehicles on Saturday, before easing the measures “gradually” after polls close, a spokesman for the committee told a news conference.Full Article: Iraq to close airports and border crossings during election | Reuters.
At the gates of Tikrit under a giant billboard of a Shi’ite militia commander, hundreds of Iraqi Sunni Arabs wait in the scorching sun for hours to be searched before being let into the city that was once the power base of Saddam Hussein. Treated as Islamic State sympathizers by Iraq’s Shi’ite dominated security forces and militias, the Sunnis near Tikrit say they feel disillusioned and alienated ahead of a May 12 election to elect a new prime minister. Under Saddam, power was concentrated within Iraq’s minority Sunni community but the tables turned in 2003 with the U.S.-led invasion that toppled the dictator and ushered in Shi’ite dominance, and a cycle of bloodletting and revenge. Six months after the defeat of Islamic State, Iraq’s Sunni Arabs are at their lowest point yet.Full Article: Iraq's Sunnis voting without hope in first election since Islamic State | Reuters.
The new electronic ballot-counting device for the upcoming Iraqi elections is easy to be programmed and could be used to tamper votes from one party to another, an official from the Kurdistan Region’s electoral commission warned on Wednesday. Iraqi parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held on May 12 across the country. It is the first time Iraq will use an electronic vote counter. Voters are still required to place their votes on paper ballots, but machines will do the counting. “An electronic system for elections is good, but it should be used in a country that has the rule of law—in a country that does not have militias or some political parties which have full control over the system,” Ismael Khurmali, the Kurdistan Region’s Election Commission Council’s decision-maker, told Kurdistan 24.Full Article: New Iraqi election devices easier to tamper with votes, Kurdish official warns.