An alliance headed by prime minister Nuri al-Maliki has been declared as having received the largest number of seats in Iraq’s elections last month, but many of his political opponents doubt the vote’s fairness and claim massive fraud. If proved, the allegations of irregularities and vote-rigging will cast shadows over the legitimacy of the new parliament elected on 30 April and may further worsen the decade-long political ructions and sectarian violence that have been largely blamed on the nation’s political class. Iraq’s Independent Higher Election Commission (IHEC) announced on Monday that al-Maliki’s State of Law Alliance had won 92 out of 328 parliamentary seats. His main rivals finished with between nine and 34 seats overall. Smaller blocs received between one and six seats. A potential new prime minister would need the support of a total of 165 members. Negotiations to build a coalition to form a new government will likely drag on for weeks, if not months, observers say.
Prior to the IHEC’s announcement, several political leaders and blocs made complaints about alleged electoral fraud and warned of dire consequences to come.
Former prime minister Ayad Allawi talked about “irregularities” committed during the polling process and slammed the IHEC as biased. He also claimed to have won the majority of votes in Baghdad. “The Commission is not qualified to run the elections,” Allawi said at a press conference, accusing al-Maliki of having prevented him from securing top place in the polls.
The leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Ammar al-Hakim, warned of “rigging or irregularities” in the polls, calling on the Commission to work in a more professional way.
Full Article: Were Iraq’s polls rigged? – Region – World – Ahram Online.