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.
Saadoun added that the only ballots that would not be recounted were the votes of minority ethnic groups. The four Sunni-dominated provinces where vote results from balloting in camps for people displaced during the recent war against the Islamic State group would be cancelled are Anbar, Diyala, Salahuddin and Ninevah.
He said it was unclear when the recount would start and that it would be up to the Supreme Judicial Council to decide on the timing. The council has also been asked to appoint nine judges to supervise the manual recount.