ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri on Sunday claimed the fire that broke out at a warehouse in eastern Baghdad, where the electoral commission kept ballot boxes, was deliberate and called for a new parliamentary election.
Jabouri alleged, in a statement, that the incident on Sunday afternoon was a “planned crime aimed at hiding cases of manipulation and falsification of votes and deceiving the Iraqi people and changing their will and choice.”
According to security sources, the fire has burned most of the boxes, and there are ongoing investigations into the cause of the incident.
The Speaker’s words came after an Iraqi Interior Ministry official confirmed the fire in the al-Rusafa district of the country’s capital which firefighters were attempting to contain.
“We call for re-election,” Jabouri said, claiming there was proof that “rigging and manipulation of the [vote] results had taken place.” He also demanded the prosecution of those who contributed to the “fraud.”
The war-torn country, which has fought a three-year war against the Islamic State, is still suffering from political and security turmoil.
On Wednesday, in an emergency meeting attended by 172 lawmakers, the Iraqi Parliament voted to dismantle the work of the current Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) administrators, designating nine judges to take over the operation of the electoral commission.
Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council named the nine judges to take over IHEC on Sunday before the fire broke out.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany