Manual vote recount ends in Kirkuk with 93 percent matching initial results: Source

The manual vote recount for the Kirkuk province has finished and more than 90 percent of ballots matched the electronic results previously announced by the Independent High Elections Commission (IHEC).

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The manual vote recount for the Kirkuk province has finished and more than 90 percent of ballots matched the electronic results previously announced by the Independent High Elections Commission (IHEC).

Media outlets affiliated to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) reported on Saturday the IHEC had completed its manual recount of votes in the Kirkuk province and that there were no changes in the seats obtained by the winning parties in Kirkuk.

On May 19, the IHEC announced the preliminary results for Kirkuk’s 12 seats. The PUK secured six seats and the Arab Coalition and Turkmen Front each won three seats.

Unlike previous elections, a new electronic device was used in the May 12 parliamentary elections to verify voter cards, fingerprints, and to count ballots—a system meant to streamline the electoral process and prevent fraud from taking place.

Political parties across the country, however, have asserted there were incidents of voter fraud at multiple polling stations.

A source speaking to al-Shafaaq news said electronic results announced by the IHEC matched the results of the manual vote recount by more than 93 percent.

The source added the manual vote recount included 522 ballot boxes but only 450 boxes were recounted as the ballots for the remaining ones were cancelled when it was discovered the boxes had been unlocked.

According to Kurdsat News, a PUK media outlet, 35 ballot boxes were cancelled but the party’s number of seats in the province remained unchanged.

However, the Arab Coalition and Turkmen Front claimed there is 50 percent difference between the electronic results and the results of the manual vote recount, calling the IHEC to do manual vote recount of all ballot boxes in Kirkuk.

Editing by Nadia Riva