Prime Minister Nuri al—Maliki’s State of law Coalition on Monday called for halting the recount of votes cast in Baghdad, saying “it does not comply with the court’s decision”.
Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission started earlier on Monday recounting votes of the March parliamentary elections in the capital, as ordered by a court last month.
The coalition said it filed a new complaint to the court to say that the “commission insists that the results would not reflect the true will of the voters.” “The process is appealed and it cannot be relied on,” Minister of Oil Hussein al—Shahristani told reporters.
“We want a manual, transparent recount process, but we were surprised that the electoral commission decided to open the ballot box, but does not match the votes with the voter register,” he added.
Mr. Al—Maliki’s coalition had asked a court to order a manual recount of ballots cast, saying it had proof of fraud, after results showed it narrowly lost the vote.
Officials will recount some 2.5 million votes in 11,000 polling station in the capital, in a process that will take two weeks.
Mr. Al—Shahristani said the process should have started by comparing the number of voters with the number of votes, and if they match, then they would start the manual recount.
Results of the March 7 parliamentary elections showed former prime minister’s Iyad Allawi’s Iraqiya List winning 91 seats in the 325—member parliament, followed by Mr. al—Maliki’s coalition with 89 seats.
Mr. Allawi’s narrow lead is now threatened after a Baghdad court order to disqualify one winning candidate from his coalition because of formerly having had links to the Baath Party.
The court, whose rulings may be appealed, has yet to rule on whether nine other winning candidates should be disqualified retrospectively.
Keywords: Vote recount,