Middle East

Shia armed factions reject Iraq vote results

Al-Fatah coalition – affiliated with the Hashd al-Shaabi – won only 14 seats in parliament, down from 48 seats in 2018

Ali Jawad   | 12.10.2021
Shia armed factions reject Iraq vote results

BAGHDAD

A coalition of Shia political forces and armed factions in Iraq has rejected the preliminary results of this week’s early parliamentary elections in Iraq.

In a statement, the Coordination Framework, an alliance of political forces and factions of the Hashd al-Shaabi, said it has raised “technical observations” about the vote, accusing the electoral commission of announcing the results without addressing these concerns.

“(Therefore), we announce our rejection of the vote results,” the alliance said, vowing to pursue all “available measures to prevent voter tampering.

Initial results announced Monday showed a marked decline of the Al-Fatah coalition – affiliated with the Hashd al-Shaabi – which won only 14 seats in the 329-member parliament, compared to 48 seats it secured in the 2018 elections.

Meanwhile, Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s party won 73 seats, the highest, followed by Taqaddum (progress) bloc of Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi with 38 seats. The State of Law bloc led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki came third with 37 seats.

Sunday’s elections saw 3,249 candidates representing 21 coalitions and 109 parties vying for seats in the assembly. The polls saw a low turnout of only 41%, according to the election commission.

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

The vote was the fifth in Iraq since 2003 when a US-led invasion overthrew the regime of former President Saddam Hussein.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar

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