After three meetings in which a necessary number of lawmakers could not be assembled to convene an official session, the Iraqi parliament passed a seemingly non-binding resolution to cancel portions of the contested recent national elections and demand a manual recount in others.
In an extraordinary session of the Iraqi Council of Representatives headed by Speaker Salim al-Jibouri, and with two fewer members present than needed to complete a quorum, MPs voted anyway, according to an announcement on the body’s official website.
“Speaker Jibouri called on judicial authorities… and the Integrity Commission to preserve the democratic process.”
The statement added that the measures including canceling votes cast by Iraqis living abroad and also of those living in camps, displaced from the provinces of Anbar, Salahadin, Nineveh, and Diyala.
It goes on to request a manual recount of votes for at least 10 percent of the ballot boxes from all voting stations, and if a disparity of 25 percent or more is shown between that and the tally of electronic voting machines used in the election, a complete manual count would be undertaken.
Riyadh Ghali, an MP from Muqtada al-Sadr’s al-Ahrar bloc (part of the cleric’s top vote-getting Sairoon Coalition) told the media that “there were many legal violations in Monday’s session, including failure to get the quorum.”
Ghali went on to charge that the would-be session was aimed purely at putting pressure on Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commision (IHEC), which oversees elections in the nation, to allow some individuals to win undeserved seats in the parliament.
Jaafar al-Musawi, a spokesperson for Muqtada al-Sadr, had previously announced it was not within the jurisdiction of the Iraqi Parliament to cancel or amend elections results, even with official legislation.
Editing by John J. Catherine