Iraq’s federal court recognizes parliament decision of manual recount in elections

Iraq’s federal court recognizes parliament decision of manual recount in elections

BAGHDAD, June 21 (Xinhua) — The Iraqi federal court Thursday said that the parliament’s earlier decision to manually recount votes of the country’s parliamentary May 12 election is constitutional.

Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court also annulled the parliament’s cancelation of the votes of displaced people and the votes of Iraqis outside Iraq.

The court decision came after it received several complaints over parliamentary decision on June 6 to amend the election law and to carry out recount of votes in all polling stations across Iraq over allegations of fraud and irregularities in the election.

“The court finds that the parliament decision is an organizational procedure in accordance with its powers and is not contrary to the provisions of the Constitution,” Medhat al-Mahmoud, head of the federal court said in a televised press conference.

However, the court rejected the decision to cancel the votes of Iraqis outside Iraq, the votes of the displaced people inside the country and the votes of the security members in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, saying that such cancelation must be carried out after scrutinizing the votes in the polling stations with allegedly witnessed fraud and irregularities, Mahmoud said.

He said that the amendment to the election law by the parliament over cancelling votes “is unconstitutional” as “it is a waste of the voters’ ballots and is contrary to the constitution.”

The court’s approval of recounting votes is not yet clear to what extend would change the final results of the parliamentary elections and would certainly delay the formation of the next government.

Many Iraqi parties, especially in the Kurdish region and the disputed areas, including Kirkuk province, have complained about alleged irregularities and forgery in the parliamentary election.

On May 12, millions of Iraqis went to 8,959 polling centers across the country to vote for their parliamentary representatives in the first general election after Iraq’s historic victory over the Islamic State group last December.

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