KDP says final election results stripped it of 2 “deserved seats” in Iraqi parliament

KDP Spokesperson Mahmood Mohammed speaks to Kurdistan 24 in a previous interview. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
KDP Spokesperson Mahmood Mohammed speaks to Kurdistan 24 in a previous interview. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Just hours after Iraq's electoral commission announced the final results of October's national elections on Tuesday, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) said that two parliament seats it was "legally entitled to" which it previously appeared to have won had been inappropriately taken in what it characterized as an "illegal act."

The final results announced by the Iraqi High Electoral Commission (IHEC) showed the KDP having obtained 31 seats, two less than when the preliminary results were announced a month ago.

Read More: Iraq’s electoral commission announces final results of October vote

"After the announcement of the final election results, it became clear to us that two deserved seats legally entitled to two candidates from our party were taken away in Erbil and Nineveh provinces," said KDP Spokesperson Mahmood Mohammed in a statement.

He added that the party would decide on its official position on the changes after a meeting is held by its political office, "in regards to this illegal act."

The coalition of populist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ranked first with 37 candidates winning a place in the nation's next parliament.

These overall election results do not substantially differ from those announced initially, with official winners changing in just five out of the total of 329 seats in the Iraqi Council of Representatives.

In the early days of November, violent clashes broke out as supporters of Iran-aligned militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) attempted to storm Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone as part of protests following the loss of parliament seats by political parties affiliated to the armed groups.

Read More: Iraqi leaders call for restraint as post-election violence escalates

In the days and weeks following the vote, losing candidates from several parties also lodged hundreds of formal appeals claiming fraud. Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council later said, "Until now, electoral fraud has not been proven with legal evidence," although this was more than two weeks before Tuesday's KDP announcement.

Read More: Iraqi judiciary says no proof of fraud in national election

On Nov. 23, the Special Representative for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said on Tuesday that there has been no evidence of systematic fraud in last month's legislative elections, despite multiple claims to the contrary by losing candidates and parties.

Read More: UN envoy to Security Council: No evidence of fraud in Iraqi election

In her briefing to the UN Security Council in New York on developments following the elections, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert explained that the voting process was "assessed as generally peaceful, well run, featuring significant technical and procedural improvements."