Iraq
Iraqi President: Cancelling votes 'outside the jurisdiction of parliament'

Iraqi President: Cancelling votes 'outside the jurisdiction of parliament'


ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi president announced that a controversial resolution passed by lawmakers that ordered some votes cancelled in the recent national elections was invalid. "It is not the duty and is outside the jurisdiction of parliament to cancel election results, in part or in full," read a statement released by the office of President Fuad Masum, a Kurd and co-founder of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). The statement came after three Kurdish parties criticized his "inaction" regarding the decision on Thursday. “The President [Fuad Masum] has been silent at a time that warrants action on behalf of the constitution,” read the joint statement released by the Movement for Change (Gorran), Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), and Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal). On Monday, members of the Iraqi parliament voted on a resolution that called for a manual recount of 10 percent of all polling stations, randomly selected. According to the decision, if the discrepancy between the results and that of the electronically-counted results reaches 25 percent, a new election would be held. It also stipulates the cancelling of votes cast in displacement camps and by Iraqis abroad. Since many parties that did well in the election boycotted Monday's session, there were not enough members to achieve quorum needed for an official session to begin. According to the Iraqi Constitution, this would declare the resolution to be an informal, non-binding one. "Moreover," Masum's statement continued, "according to the Independent High Electoral Commission’s (IHEC) law number 11 of the year 2007, the way to challenge the results of the elections is by relying on the judicial branch [of the government]." "Therefore, the action of the Council of Representatives [parliament] was a clear breach of the principle of the separation of powers and interferes with the functions and jurisdiction of the judiciary. On Tuesday, the head of IHEC defended the May 12 election results, stating there were "many legal violations in Monday’s [parliamentary] session in Baghdad, including failure to reach a quorum."