By Ibrahim Saleh
Iraq’s official electoral commission on Friday rejected requests to conduct a manual recount of ballots cast in last week’s parliamentary election.
In a statement, the commission justified its decision by saying that vote-counting must be done electronically, in line with Iraq’s electoral laws.
On Saturday, parliament will hold an emergency session to discuss complaints about -- and disputes over -- unofficial results of last week’s poll.
According to the electoral commission, the commissioners’ board has sole authority to examine complaints about the electoral process.
Unofficial poll results were announced earlier this week. Later Friday, the electoral commission is expected to announce final results.
After final results are announced, political parties will have the chance to formally lodge their objections with the electoral commission.
The Iraqi government, for its part, has urged the commission to process all appeals and objections with “utmost transparency” and to look into all claims of wrongdoing “in accordance with the law”.
According to preliminary results, Muqtada al-Sadr’s