Baghdad / Ibrahim Saleh / Anatolia
The (official) Independent High Electoral Commission in Iraq decided, on Wednesday, to exclude a female candidate from the Sunni alliance from the early parliamentary elections on suspicion of buying votes.
The IHEC, which manages elections in Iraq, said in a statement that Anatolia received a copy of it, that “the Board of Commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission decided to cancel the endorsement of the candidate, Ashwaq Fahd Abboud Al-Ghurairi, and withhold the votes she obtained on polling day.”
She added, “The decision came due to the existence of a criminal case against her for buying voter cards,” noting that “the decision can be appealed before the Judicial Authority for Elections within 3 days.”
The candidate who was excluded, according to the commission, is Ashwaq Al-Obaidi, a candidate in Baghdad within the “Azm” coalition headed by the Sunni businessman and politician Khamis Al-Khanjar, and she is the first female candidate to be excluded from the elections.
Over the past election cycles, a lot of controversy arose about the integrity of the elections in the country, which suffers from “widespread corruption”, according to international reports, in addition to the presence of powerful armed factions.
However, Mustafa Al-Kazemi’s government pledged to conduct a fair voting process under international supervision, and away from the power of arms.
According to the figures of the Electoral Commission on July 31, 3,249 candidates representing 21 coalitions and 109 parties, as well as independents, will run in the elections to win 329 seats in the Iraqi parliament.
The current parliamentary session was supposed to end in 2022, but the political parties decided to hold early elections after widespread popular protests toppled the previous government headed by Adel Abdul-Mahdi in late 2019.
Confidence was granted to the new government headed by Al-Kazemi in May 2020 to manage the transitional phase, leading to early elections on October 10.
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