PM Abadi says opposed to repeat of Iraq election


Last week, parliament passed a law for a recount of 11 million votes, following allegations of fraud during the May 12 elections.

The Iraqi prime minister has reacted to the arson at a storage site of the ballot boxes from country's recent parliamentary elections.

Several hours after the blaze erupted, firefighters, backed by 10 trucks, managed to extinguish the raging fire at the storage site, holding half of the ballot boxes from Baghdad.

An interior ministry spokesman told the Reuters news agency that the blaze had destroyed some documents and equipment, but efforts were being made to stop it from affecting ballot boxes.

"The ballot boxes were stored in another room", he said, adding that the fire would not affect the recount.

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But the result was contested following allegations of fraud namely by the veteran politicians led by parliamentary Speaker Salim al-Jabouri.

A fire raged through Baghdad's largest ballot storage site on Sunday, just days after parliament ordered a recount of May's election results amid accusations of fraud.

The SJC convened on Sunday to name the judges and to meet with officials from the electoral commission to "understand how it works and get a briefing on the nature of complaints it received regarding the 2018 legislative elections", the statement said.

The Coalition referred to unclear measures taken by the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) during the electronic voting as the people were used to manual voting in previous elections.

The election's votes were initially counted electronically, and parliament has since called for a full recount.

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Saeed Kakei, one of the members of the elections commission who himself produced what he said was evidence of fraud, also alleged the fire appeared to be deliberate and suggested significant violations and that "some individuals don't want a manual recount to happen", WSJ reported.

On June 6, the Iraqi Parliament made a decision to freeze the work of the IHEC, assigning nine judges to run the commission to facilitate a manual recount of votes for the entire elections process across Iraq.

A spokesman for Hadi al-Amiri, whose Fatih alliance of groups linked to pro-Iran Shia militias came second in the election behind Sadr's bloc, said he did not favour a repeat. However, it has added to fears that disputes over the elections' result could turn violent, prompting Sadr on Monday to warn about breaking out of a possible "civil war" in the crisis-hit country if growing disputes over the vote are not settled.

Opponents of the recount have pointed out that many of those who voted for it lost seats in the election.

Over 170 lawmakers had chose to suspend Article 38 of the electoral law, which stipulates that vote counting shall be done electronically, while members of the Supreme Electoral Committee are to be replaced by nine judges to oversee the vote recount.

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