Incumbent Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi gives televised speech on May 14, 2018. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Haider al-Abadi, the incumbent Iraqi prime minister, has called on all parties and citizens to respect the results of the May 12 election, which appear to have left his Nasr (Victory) Alliance trailing in third place. He showed readiness to work with any side to help form the next government.
A majority of polls predicted Abadi’s coalition would be the clear winner in Iraq’s parliamentary election. However, preliminary results released early on Monday suggest he has gained fewer seats than the Hashd-affiliated Fatih and Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sayirun alliance with the Iraqi Communist Party.
In a press conference on Monday evening, a tired looking Abadi urged parties to use established legal channels if they wish to contest the results.
“Today, after the government held the constitutional election on its specified date, and we were able to hold and complete the electoral process with safety, I am calling on citizens and the political parties to respect the results of the election and commit to the healthy legal means related to violations or protesting it,” said Abadi, in a televised speech.
He said his government will shoulder responsibility for leading the country, protecting it, and defending its unity and interests until a new government is formed.
“We show our complete readiness to work and cooperate with them to form the strongest government possible for Iraq, devoid of corruption,” Abadi said.
He added that the new government will preserve the accomplishments in the fight against ISIS, preserve unity, and prevent the rise of terrorism again.
Abadi’s call to respect the results comes as six Kurdish parties demand fresh elections in the Kurdistan Region, Kirkuk and the disputed territories, alleging widespread voter fraud.
The election commission rejected calls for a revote earlier on Monday in a press conference in Erbil.