ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council named nine judges to take over the country’s electoral commission on Sunday in the aftermath of widespread allegations of electoral fraud and violations in last month’s vote.
The Iraqi Parliament on Wednesday passed a law mandating the manual recount of ballots across the country. The law official requested for nine judges to replace the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) which has been heavily criticized for its handling of the national elections.
“The Supreme Judicial Council’s meeting saw the naming of the judges nominated to take over the duties of the board of commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission,” Judge Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar said in a statement.
The IHEC board has stated it would appeal the decision.
Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, whose coalition came third in the election, said there had been serious violations and cases of fraud. He laid the blame at the IHEC’s feet, which has been accused of mismanaging the election.
Parliament’s vote came a day after the premier’s speech.
Iraqi nationalist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s bloc, the victorious coalition in the May 12 election, earning 54 seats, has already suggested some parties are attempting to sabotage his victory.
Sadr is known for being a long-time adversary of the US, but also opposes Iran’s influence in Iraq.
The war-torn country, which has fought a three-year war against the Islamic State (IS), is still suffering from political and security turmoil.
Editing by Nadia Riva