Iraqi electoral commission disputes claims of improper recounting procedures, voter fraud

Iraq held national parliamentary elections on Oct. 10, 2021. (Photo: Archive)
Iraq held national parliamentary elections on Oct. 10, 2021. (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) issued a clarification on Tuesday that claims made by unnamed candidates that the recounting process employed in response to appeal complaints for last month's parliamentary election have been flawed.

"There is no truth to what some candidates have circulated, that the manual recount did not use visual confirmation," read a statement, which added that the commission found no instances of fraud.

The recounting process, it continued, was "carried out in accordance with the criteria of manual counting and sorting, which are naturally different from the criteria of electronic counting and sorting."

The commission added that those conducting the recount were, in fact, intentionally using a different procedure as a failsafe, "through a central committee formed for this purpose and in the presence of local and international observers. There were a number of ballots marked as invalid that were found to be valid and were then counted for the candidates voted for, according to the Commission's procedures."

"It is important to clarify that this small number of invalid votes that were counted by the Central Committee is due to the clarity of the voter's intention indicated on the paper and the other higher percentage of invalid papers were not counted," it concluded.

Two days after the Oct. 10 election, IHEC said that the final results would be announced in full after the appeals process had run its course.

Read More: Iraq election commission announces 1,400 appeals contesting national vote results

Eight days later, it announced that it had received well over a thousand appeal complaints submitted by candidates or others who objected to some part of the vote's results.