Middle East

President, judiciary chief warn against harming national security after Iraq elections

Salih, Zeidan say complaints about elections results accepted 'within legal context'

Ibrahim Saleh   | 15.10.2021
President, judiciary chief warn against harming national security after Iraq elections

BAGHDAD, Iraq

The Iraqi Presidency and Supreme Judicial Council issued a warning on Friday against harming the country's security, citing Shia political forces and armed factions' rejection of preliminary results of this week’s early parliamentary elections.

President Barham Salih and Supreme Judicial Council head Faiq Zeidan said in a joint statement that complaints about the elections are accepted "within the legal context" and that "dealing with them shall be based on the constitution and law."

The statement urged all parties to take a nationalistic stance, prioritize the country's interests, and avoid escalation.

"Elections are a national merit and a democratic peaceful path to have recourse to the people and their choices," it added.

Salih and Zeidan have stated that they support the country's Elections Committee as well as a judicial commission to evaluate complaints and appeals made against the elections.

The Al-Fatah coalition, affiliated with the Hashd al-Shaabi, won only 14 seats in the 329-member parliament, compared to 48 seats in the 2018 elections, according to preliminary results released on Monday.

“We announce our rejection of the vote results,” the Al-Fatah coalition said, vowing to pursue all “available measures to prevent voter tampering."

Meanwhile, Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's party won the most seats, with 73, followed by Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Taqaddum Halbousi's bloc with 38. With 37 seats, the State of Law Coalition led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki secured the third position.

Sunday’s elections saw 3,249 candidates representing 21 coalitions and 109 parties vying for seats in the assembly. The turnout at the polls was only 41%, according to the Elections Commission.

The elections were originally scheduled for 2022, but political parties decided to hold them early elections following mass protests that erupted in 2019 against corruption and poor governance.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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