An Iraqi electoral commission official examines electronic counting machine print-outs in Najaf on May 13, 2018. Photo: Haidar Hamdani | AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Several political parties in Kirkuk have rejected the results of a manual recount of votes from the May 12 elections, insisting ballot boxes had been tampered with before and during the second recount.
"We do not recognize the results of the manual recount," Wrya Ahmed, a Change Movement (Gorran) election official told Rudaw.
Ahmed claimed that the Iraqi election law was ignored that calls for a complete recount of the votes and their comparison with the original numbers.
He added that party observers had not been allowed to monitor the recount process.
"The ballots were not recounted, but only the voter cards,”he said.
Ahmed said that Gorran has filed an appeal against the manual recount and is waiting for a response from the elections commission.
"In case the commission and federal court do not respond, the Gorran National Council will convene and decide to whether boycott the political process or follow a mechanism to participate. But I am certain that the Change Movement is rejecting the results."
The Patriotic Union of Kurdstan (PUK) won six seats in Kirkuk, while the Turkmen and the Arabs each won 3 seats. Twelve seats were up for grabs. No other Kurdish party won any seats.
The main winner of the vote in the Kurdistan Region, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) boycotted the elections in Kirkuk and some disputed territories.
Gorran, Komal, and Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ) ran on a joint electoral list named Nishtiman in the disputed areas, but they failed to secure a seat.
The CDJ stated that it would not appeal against the results of the manual recount.
"We neither appealed the results, nor did we send observers to monitor the recount as we believe Kirkuk has a unique situation ," Hassan Baram ,a CDJ official said, adding they knew there was fraud, but "wanted to be lenient towards the current circumstances of Kirkuk."
The Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) has along with some Turkmen and Arab parties rejected the new results and criticized the election commission as a body that has lost trust.
PUK officials said in a press conference that they still remained the winner of the May elections and the manual recount supported their original win.