Iraqi parliament speaker objects to poll violations

Salim al-Jabouri also says election turnout fell short of desired level but vows not to let the voters down

Iraqi parliament speaker objects to poll violations

World Bulletin / News Desk

Iraq’s parliament speaker on Saturday objected to what he said were electoral violations seen during the weekend general elections.

Speaking at a press conference, Salim al-Jabouri, who leads the Civil Society for Reform Party, urged the Independent High Electoral Commission to “maintain its neutrality and to look into all submitted objections”.

However, he gave no more details on the nature of the violations.

“But we will not let the voters down and will represent them in the best way through state institutions,” he vowed.

Commenting on Saturday’s election turnout, he said it “was not at the required level”.

The Goran Movement, however, claimed that the electronic voting system had been hacked.

In a written statement, it said votes for the movement had been switched to another party.

Separately, the Coalition for Democracy and Justice and Kurdistan Islamic Unity Party (Yekgirtu) also claimed electoral violations.

“The numbers announced aren’t right, and the number of votes have been changed,” the coalition said in a statement.

The coalition will reject results which will come out of electronic systems, it added.

In a written statement, the Kurdistan Islamic Unity Party said it would not accept election results if the votes were not counted manually.

The party said violations took place in polling stations in Sulaymaniyah.

On Saturday Anadolu Agency correspondents and observers witnessed electronic devices at polling stations stop working for some time due to technical failure, while there were also delays in opening ballot boxes in some areas.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Turkmens gathered in front of the election office in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk to protest alleged poll rigging.

Protests were also held in Kirkuk's southern town of Daquq and northern town of Altinkopru.

A curfew was imposed in Kirkuk as of midnight.

Voting ended Saturday in Iraq’s first parliamentary election since authorities declared victory against the Daesh terrorist group.

The country's electoral commission will announce the turnout later in the day, while unofficial results are expected to be announced in two days.

Saturday’s election saw more than 7,000 candidates compete for spots in Iraq’s 328-seat national assembly.

Roughly 24 million Iraqis out of the country’s 37-million-strong population are registered to take part in the polls.

The election is the country’s first since Daesh was decisively defeated late last year after overrunning much of northern and western Iraq in 2014, and is being held under the shadow of economic crisis, the return of thousands of refugees, political polarization, and security concerns.

Last Mod: 13 Mayıs 2018, 09:55
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