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Updated: Manually recount all Sulaimani votes or face boycott: Kurdish parties

By Rudaw 8/7/2018
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – The four Kurdish parties that objected to the result of Iraq’s May 12 parliamentary election will boycott the manual recount process in Sulaimani unless every vote in the province is recounted – not just those at polling stations where fraud allegations were made.

Representatives of the Change Movement (Gorran), the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), Komal, and the Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ) met on Sunday at Gorran’s Zargata Hill headquarters.

"The commission and the chosen judges have not been committed to the law because the parliament ordered the manual recount of all votes," the parties said in a statement.

"The commission has allowed only one representative from each political group to supervise the recounting process and even this representative cannot watch the process closely."

The parties said they would boycott the process if the following demands are not met.

“First, we ask the commission to do a manual recount of all votes as the parliament ordered," the statement reads.

"Second, the commission has to let our representative supervise the recounting process closely and also increase the number of representatives.

“Third, the commission and the chosen judges have to respond to our complaints. Otherwise, the manual recounting of a few voting ballots is against the law and it will legitimize the fraud process.”

The four parties have jointly rejected the results of Iraq’s parliamentary election on May 12, claiming the election process was rigged, pointing fingers at the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), a claim denied by both parties.

The manual recount of the votes is due to start in Sulaimani on Tuesday. Appointed judges have decided to restrict the manual recount only to ballot boxes which are appealed.

There were 3,200 polling stations in Sulaimani, where 450 complaints have been lodged, but none of the dissatisfied parties have appealed the votes at all stations.

A manual recount in the province of Kirkuk was completed on Thursday, but results haven’t been announced. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has called for the Independent High Electoral Commission to conduct its work quickly.


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