ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish parties have boycotted Erbil Province’s partial manual recount of Iraq’s parliamentary election votes, and in a press conference on Thursday reiterated their refusal to partake in the process until their demands are met.
Movement for Change (Gorran), Coalition for Democracy and Justice, Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), and Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) were the members of the coalition holding the presser.
The four parties are among those who immediately after the conclusion of the May 12 election, rejected the results and alleged fraud and tampering with of the ballots.
The coalition of parties claims the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) had not responded to their complaints and “have violated the principles of transparency.”
On June 6, the Iraqi Parliament decided to freeze the work of the IHEC, assigning nine judges to run the commission to facilitate a manual recount of ballots for the entire elections process, a decision which the Iraqi Higher Judicial Council and the Federal Supreme Court (FSC) ratified.
The IHEC, however, said they interpreted the FSC decision as a manual recount of ballots only from the stations accused of fraud.
According to the spokesperson for the coalition of parties, the FSC had requested a recount of all votes, “but the Commission, in Erbil, out of 3,092 ballot boxes, will only recount 216.”
He also claimed previously submitted complaints against polling stations had not been accepted.
The IHEC’s modus operandi, however, is one of reviewing complaints to decide whether or not they are legitimate.
In Sulaimani Province, where the judges recounted votes earlier in the week, all Kurdish parties but one boycotted the process, claiming the selection of ballot boxes had been tampered with and demanded a full recount.
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the party that did not boycott, had received the most votes in the province, according to announced results.
After the complaints in Sulaimani, the UN spoke to reporters, describing the process as “transparent.”
“We are boycotting the process until the Commission implements our demands,” the spokesperson concluded.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany