ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The United Nations on Sunday asked political actors in Iraq to peacefully resolve electoral issues through established legal channels as accusations of electoral fraud mount in various areas of the country.
“The Secretary-General congratulates the people of Iraq on the holding of parliamentary elections on 12 May. Following the military defeat of Dae'sh [Islamic State (IS)], the elections represent further progress in building a stronger Iraqi democracy,” Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General said.
Iraqi national elections were held on Saturday and 44 percent of eligible voters headed to the polls, according to the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC).
UN Secretary-General António Guterres praised Iraqi forces for securing the process as well as internally displaced persons (IDPs) for participating in the polls despite the challenges they faced.
“The Secretary-General calls on all Iraqi political actors and their supporters to uphold the peace as the results are processed,” the statement continued. “He further urges political actors to resolve any electoral disputes through established legal channels and to complete the electoral process by forming an inclusive government as soon as possible.”
Unlike previous elections, new electronic devices were used in Saturday’s parliamentary elections to check election cards, fingerprints, and count ballots—a system meant to streamline the process and prevent fraud from taking place.
In the aftermath of the election, however, parties across the board raised concerns regarding voter fraud, claiming the new electronic device not only failed to prevent fraud from taking place but, instead, made it easier to tamper with votes.
Official results are expected to be announced by the end of Monday, 48 hours after polling stations around the country closed.
Editing by Nadia Riva