Iraq will begin a manual recount of votes on Tuesday from a May parliamentary election clouded by allegations of fraud, a step towards the formation of a new parliament and government. Only suspect ballots flagged in formal complaints or official reports on fraud will be recounted, a spokesman for the panel of judges conducting the recount said on Saturday. “The manual recount will be conducted in the presence of representatives from the United Nations, foreign embassies and political parties; as well as local and international observers, members of the media, and the Ministries of Defense and the Interior,” Judge Laith Jabr Hamza said in a statement.
In seven provinces where many complaints of fraud were made — Kirkuk, Sulaimaniya, Erbil, Dohuk, Nineveh, Salahuddin and Anbar — the recount will be conducted by the local electoral offices, Hamza said.
Those ballot boxes which had already been transferred to Baghdad will be recounted in the capital.
The recount has been a politically fraught issue with the leaders of winning blocs embroiled in negotiations for weeks over the formation of the next government.