ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – People affiliated to the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi’s al-Fatih Coalition have surrounded the main office of the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) in Kirkuk, calling for a manual count of votes following the closure of polling stations.
A source from the city of Kirkuk on Saturday said supporters of the al-Fatih Coalition surrounded the IHEC’s main office in the province, calling for the votes to be counted manually, al-Sumeriya news outlet reported.
Earlier in the day, the national elections took place in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, the first since the defeat of the Islamic State late last year.
The polls opened at 7:00 a.m. across the country and closed at 6:00 p.m.
Unlike previous elections, a new electronic device was used in Saturday’s parliamentary elections to recognize election cards, fingerprints, and count votes—a system meant to make the process more efficient and prevent fraud from taking place.
Abdulbasit Darwesh, Director of the IHEC in Kirkuk, said many people and armed militiamen surrounded their office and had threatened their staff to re-count the votes manually.
The Turkmen Front has also called on the IHEC to rely on manual vote counting in Kirkuk Province.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany