(Kurdistan 24) – After meeting with the head of the Arab League at its headquarters in Cairo, Vice President and former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi asked the organization to take part in monitoring the manual recount of Iraq's contested May 12 election.
Through a statement issued by his office, he "called on the Arab League to contribute side by side with the Iraqi judiciary in monitoring the counting... the results of the recent parliamentary elections."
In response, said the statement, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, pledged "full support for the achievement of security and stability in Iraq, the rejection of external interference in its internal affairs, and the completion of elements of the democratic political process."
On Thursday, Iraq's Supreme Court, which has jurisdiction over elections and constitutional disputes in the country, recently ruled in favor of a parliamentary plan to hold a full recount of May's national election following widespread claims of voter fraud.
The court did not, however, uphold the portion of the plan that canceled votes cast by security forces in the Kurdistan Region, Iraqis living abroad, and Iraqis living in displacement camps, ruling that their ballots should be counted.
On the day of the ruling, the United Nations (UN) announced "its readiness to continue providing advice, support and assistance to the elections management bodies," in line with its mandate in Iraq.
It is not clear how the Arab League would coordinate with the UN, should either take part in monitoring the recount.
On June 12, Allawi proposed a referendum in which Iraqis would choose either to accept the results as originally announced by the country's electoral commission or to hold an entirely new vote in order to avert a constitutional crisis.
After the Supreme court's ruling officially ordered the recount, he publicly voiced his support for the decision, calling it a “fatal blow” to any parties or individuals who committed fraud in the election.