Abadi urges arrest of vote-riggers

Iraq’s prime minister said his government will fight all attempts at electoral fraud and called on parties to respect court decisions on the matter.

“I call on all political parties to respect the decrees of the judiciary,” Haider al-Abadi said in a press conference after a meeting of his Council of Ministers on Wednesday.

Abadi also urged Iraqi security forces and judicial authorities to arrest those responsible for vote rigging.

Iraq has been in a political stalemate since the May 12 parliamentary election, the results of which have yet to be finalized because of reports of fraud. The parliament ordered a full manual recount of ballots and Iraq’s federal court has said it cannot prevent a recount.

Abadi’s government has continued to operate, essentially in caretaker mode. He insisted that there is no power vacuum because the results of the election have not been submitted to the supreme court for ratification.

Only after the election results are confirmed will the task of forming a government begin. Multiple negotiations are ongoing and alliances are beginning to emerge, though they are fraught with disagreements. An alliance between the winning Sayirun coalition of Muqtada al-Sadr with Sunni leaders appeared jeopardized when Sadr made overtures with politicians who have ties with Shiite militias.

Abadi is pushing for a meeting that would bring together all the main players to hash out a solution. He said on Wednesday that almost all parties have appointed representatives to attend his meeting, though no date has been announced yet.

He stressed that “there should be connection between winning parties.” Source