The (official) Elections Commission in Iraq announced, on Monday, that it will start from Tuesday the recount of votes in 870 electoral stations (offices) based on judicial orders, as a result of accepting appeals in the elections that took place on October 10 last.
Imad Jamil, a member of the media team of the Electoral Commission, told the official news agency INA that the commission will “start from tomorrow, Tuesday, to manually recount the votes of 870 electoral stations (out of about 55 thousand stations).”
He added that the recount came on the orders of the Judicial Authority for Elections (affiliated with the Electoral Commission) after it accepted 21 appeals against the voting process, noting that “the process would change the preliminary results of the elections.”
The Electoral Commission had previously settled 1,415 appeals approved by the judiciary, including 68 appeals that resulted in a manual recount of the votes, without changing the preliminary results.
According to the preliminary results, the “Sadr bloc”, affiliated with Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, ranked first with 73 seats out of 329, while the “Progress” bloc, led by the dissolved Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi (Sunni), won 38 seats, followed by the “State of Law” bloc. led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (2006-2014), with 34 seats.
Jamil indicated that “15 of the accepted appeals were for procedural reasons, as a result of which the commission was obligated to recount and manually count the contested stations, and the remaining 6 were accepted for legal and technical reasons, which resulted in the cancellation of the results of some polling stations.”
He explained that the manual sorting process will start on Tuesday from Dhi Qar Governorate (south) and includes 389 stations, Nineveh (north) 217, Muthanna (south) 49, Najaf (south) 31, and Baghdad (central) 184.
For the first time in Iraq, voters passed the ballot papers on electronic devices, before placing them in the boxes, and as soon as they were closed, the results were sent online to the commission’s headquarters in the capital, Baghdad.
The preliminary results are facing widespread opposition from Shiite forces and factions, whose supporters have been protesting for more than a month in central Baghdad, in demonstrations that were marred by violence and confrontations, during which a demonstrator was killed, in addition to the injury of dozens of protesters and security personnel.