Where the May elections of Iraq left a disappointment, the recount has also not been much of a help. According to the nation’s electoral commission, the results of the parliamentary election of Iraq that were conducted in May, remained mostly unchanged after a nationwide manual recount of votes.
In the early hours of Friday morning, the Independent High Election Commission (IHEC) published the Iraq elections results of the recount on its website. As per the results, populist Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was able to retain his lead from May’s elections.
According to IHEC, the results of recount were similar to the initial figures from 13 of Iraq’s 18 provinces. Besides, fewer than a dozen of 329 Iraqi MPs lost their seats.
However, there had been sharp criticism against the electoral process, where Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated that there were “unprecedented breaches.”
Criticising the recount, candidate Fatah al-Sheikh stated, “It was nothing but an attempt to cover up the huge fraud in the May 12 elections.”
The widespread allegation of fraud pitched a doubt over the integrity of the electoral process. This prompted the order of manual recount by the parliament of Iraq.
However, the results of the recount came with a little change, where Sadr’s union retained largest number of seats. Following him was a group of Iran-backed Shi’ite militia leaders, while an obligatory Islamic Dawa Party of the Prime Minister al-Abadi took the third place.
Since the May elections, Abadi had been leading a caretaker government.
Despite winning the highest number of seats, al-Sadr on Thursday threatened to pause his efforts to form a coalition. He also said that if his rivals disagree to a set of key conditions on forming a new government, he might join the opposition.
He said, “It is probable that the same corrupt powers will control governance in Iraq and that corruption will return wearing a different robe.”
In the coming days, Mr al-Sadr is likely to witness a series of complex negotiations in order to form a governing coalition.
On the negotiations, a senior Fattah leader stated, “We had reached an agreement with Al-Sadr last week to open the door for all the winning political blocs to join our alliance based on our governmental program, but in a minute everything collapsed.”
Before a government coalition is established, Iraq might consequently face numerous months of political negotiations.