Iraq
Iraq commission annuls votes cast at 1,021 ballot boxes

Iraq commission annuls votes cast at 1,021 ballot boxes


Iraq's official electoral commission on Wednesday annulled all votes cast at 1,021 out of 53,000 ballot boxes used in the country’s May 12 parliamentary polls.

According to commission officials, the decision was taken following the verification of several “red complaints”.

A “red complaint” is an accusation that a “gross violation affecting the outcome of elections” had been committed. 

In a statement, the commission said that a probe had been launched “with a view to holding violators accountable”.

Stressing the reliability of electronic vote-counting, the commission said it was “working seriously to address all matters related to parties’ and candidates’ complaints”.

“We are still receiving appeals [against vote results] and we won’t hesitate to address violations,” read the statement.

On Monday, Iraq's parliament decided to annul all votes cast overseas and recount roughly 10 percent of all votes cast overall.  

Ballots cast at several displacement camps in the Anbar, Saladin and Diyala provinces were also annulled.  

Iraq's May 12 election was the country's first parliamentary poll since 2014.  

According to official results, Muqtada al-Sadr's Sairoon coalition won 54 assembly seats, followed by a Hashd al-Shaabi-linked coalition (47 seats) and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's Victory Bloc (42 seats).  

The Erbil-based Kurdistan Democratic Party picked up 25 seats, while the Sulaymaniyah-based Patriotic Union of Kurdistan clinched 19 seats.  

Final results were announced a full week after the polling on May 12. Unofficial results had been announced days earlier, but widespread fraud allegations had reportedly delayed a final vote count.