Rudaw

Manual election recount constitutional – scrapping votes is not: Iraqi federal court

Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court has ruled parliament’s decision to manually recount votes cast in the May 12 election is constitutional, but the annulment of IDP, diaspora, and advance votes is not.

On June 6, the Iraqi parliament decreed a manual recount of 100 percent of votes, the annulment of IDP, diaspora, and advance votes, and the removal of commissioners from Iraq’s High Independent Electoral Commission (IHEC) and their replacement with nine judges.

Parliament called for the manual recount after allegations of the electronic voting system being hacked and other irregularities with the system that was new to Iraq.

According the court’s ruling on Thursday, IDP, diaspora, and advance votes should now be counted toward the final election result unless evidence of fraud is submitted.

The Iraqi parliament is expected to meet on Friday to discuss the ruling.

“Thank God, the federal court accepted what we had appealed against and called for. It annulled the decision made by the parliament,” Ismael Mandalawi, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)’s lawyer told Rudaw.

“We as KDP’s lawyers submitted our request to annul article three of law 45 in which there is injustice toward the Peshmerga [and] IDPs. Thank God, the federal court accepted what we stressed and rejected the decision,” he added.

Rebwar Taha, a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) member of the Iraqi parliament, told Rudaw: “Revoking the section which called for the annulment of the votes of Peshmerga and Kurdistan Region’s security forces was important for us. Thank God, through our lawyers, we could convince the court that this is unconstitutional and illegal. Now the votes of the Peshmerga and Asayish will not be annulled, which they wanted to revoke. This is very important for us.”

Hasan Toran, deputy head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front, said in a statement: “The Iraqi Turkmen Front welcomes the verdict by the federal court on the third amendment of the election law. It is a victory for the will of the Iraqi people. We reject this fraud committed in the parliamentary election, especially in the province of Kirkuk. This is a revolution to shame fraudsters.”

Ahmad Haji Rashid, head of Komal bloc in the Iraqi parliament, told Rudaw: “We welcome the decision ruled by the court and deem it a success. We congratulate the federal court that worked professionally and independently. And we believe in the verdict by the court.”

Arafat Karam, head of the KDP faction in the Iraqi parliament, told Rudaw: “The verdict by the federal court on early voting is good news.”

Muthana Amin, head of Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) bloc in the Iraqi parliament, told Rudaw: “The federal court has taken into account the political situation of Iraq following the election and taken a healthy direction to restore the political process.”

Amin characterized the verdict ruled by the federal court as “a good victory for the will of the people.” Source

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