Iraq Kurd party decries annulment of expat poll results

Iraq Kurd party decries annulment of expat poll results

BAGHDAD – Anadolu Agency
Iraq Kurd party decries annulment of expat poll results

The Sulaymaniyah-based Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) vowed on May 29 to lodge a legal appeal against a parliamentary decision to cancel all ballots cast overseas in Iraq’s May 12 parliamentary election.

According to the PUK, parliament lacks the authority to make such a decision.

“We hold the parliamentary leadership responsible for this error,” Rebwar Taha Mustafa, a PUK member in Iraq’s Kirkuk province, said in a statement.

He went on to warn that cancelling poll results would serve to delegitimize the country’s political process.

On May 28, Iraq’s parliament abruptly decided to annul the expatriate vote and recount about 10 percent of all votes cast.

Results from major displacement camps in the Anbar, Saladin and Diyala provinces were also canceled.

Iraq’s May 12 election was the country’s first parliamentary poll since 2014.

According to official results, Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon coalition won 54 parliamentary seats, followed by a Hashd al-Shaabi-linked coalition (47 seats) and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s Victory bloc (42 seats).

The Arbil-based Kurdistan Democratic Party, meanwhile, picked up 25 seats in the national assembly, while the PUK clinched 19 seats.

Final results were announced a full week after polling was conducted on May 12. Unofficial results had been announced days earlier, but widespread fraud allegations had reportedly delayed a final vote count.