World, Middle East

Poll results cannot be annulled: Iraqi judicial council

Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council says manual vote-recount would violate country's electoral laws

05.06.2018
Poll results cannot be annulled: Iraqi judicial council Iraqi polling station staff are seen after polls closed for the Iraqi parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq on May 12, 2018.

By Ibrahim Saleh

BAGHDAD

Iraqi law does not allow election results to be annulled or manual vote recounts to be conducted, Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council said Tuesday.

“Article 8 of the Electoral Commission Law No. 11 of 2007 gives voters the right to challenge [poll] results before the Independent High Electoral Commission’s board of commissioners,” the judicial council said in a statement.

“If the plaintiff is not satisfied by the board’s decision, they can bring the issue before an electoral tribunal, which must rule on the appeal within 10 days of referral,” the statement read.

It added: “There is no provision within the law giving the judiciary the authority to partially annul election results.”

“Nor is there any provision within the law giving the judiciary the authority to request a partial recount of poll results,” the judicial council asserted.

On May 28, parliament annulled results of a May 10 expatriate vote and called for a manual recount of roughly 10 percent of all ballots cast in Iraq’s hotly-contested May 12 legislative poll.

One day later, the electoral commission warned of “potential civil unrest” in the event that poll results were overturned.

Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, for his part, has said parliament lacks the authority to annul poll results.

Al-Sadr's Sairoon coalition dominated the May 12 polls, winning 54 assembly seats, followed by a Hashd al-Shaabi-linked coalition (47 seats) and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's Victory Bloc (42 seats), according to official election results.

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