Politics & Economics

What is Iraq’s current electoral situation amidst a voting recount?

Iraq

A government has not yet been fully formed in Iraq due to the ambiguities and accusations of fraud that have arisen from the voting irregularities and violations during the elections on 12th May.

The manual recount for the results of the May Parliamentary elections finally kicked off on Tuesday 3rd of July 2018. After receiving many reports of voter fraud, intimidation, the Iraqi Parliament called on the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to hold a manual recount of the votes and eliminate IDP and expat votes. However, the motion to disregard IDP and expat votes was quickly rejected by the Iraqi Supreme Court, which called on IHEC to manually recount the votes across Iraq.

The IHEC later issued a statement saying that they would include IDP and expat votes and hold a manual recount in contested areas only in order to speed up the process, especially
as Iraq’s current parliamentary term ended on 1st July earlier this month.

Once this process is completed, the results must be accepted by the Iraqi Supreme Court in order for the government formation to move forward.

Despite the election taking place in May 2018, the process to finalise the election results has remained slow and affected by a number of incidents. On the 10th of June, a huge fire broke out in the largest IHEC ballot storage warehouse in Baghdad’s Rusafa. Days later, a suicide bombing targeted IHEC ballot warehouses in the province of Kirkuk, one of the main provinces affected by the fraud allegations. According to the Ministry of Interior, the ballot boxes have not been severely affected by these attacks.

Although the final results of the elections have not been announced, the preliminary results issued soon after the elections have allowed the different parties to form coalitions to reach a parliamentary majority.

Currently, the largest alliance which has been announced is between Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sa’iroun Alliance, Hadi al-Ameri’s Fateh Coalition, Haider al-Abadi’s Nasr Coalition, Ayad Allawi’s Iraqiya Coalition, and Ammar al-Hakim’s Hikma Movement.

If this coalition were to succeed in forming a majority in the government, once the results are ratified, they would have 15 days to convene in parliament and elect a president, through a two-thirds majority, and a Speaker of Parliament and first and second deputies through an absolute majority.

Image: Middle East Monitor