UN envoy calls for investigation into complaints against Iraq's parliamentary elections

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-17 22:33:04|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BAGHDAD, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations special envoy to Iraq Jan Kubis on Thursday called on the Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to carry out an immediate and thorough investigation into all complaints concerning the electoral process.

In a statement issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Kubis said "the Commission (IHEC) has to act expeditiously in order to seriously address all complaints including, as necessary, the conduct of partial manual recount in selected locations, notably in Kirkuk."

"It is important that these are undertaken in full transparency, witnessed by stakeholders, to strengthen the confidence in the process. The UN is ready to provide assistance, if requested," said the UN envoy to Iraq and the UNAMI chief.

Kubis also called on Iraqi political parties to "remain committed to resolving any electoral disputes through the established legal channels."

Meanwhile, the Iraqi parliament will hold an emergency session on Saturday to discuss the results of the latest parliamentary elections over irregularities and complaints from some political parties, an official in the parliament said on Thursday.

"The Speaker of the Council of Representatives (parliament) called for an emergency session at 1 p.m. (1000 GMT) on Saturday to discuss the results of the parliamentary elections," Badie al-Juboury, deputy head of the parliament secretariat, told Xinhua.

The call for emergency session came after some 80 lawmakers submitted a request Thursday to the presidency of the parliament demanding for the session, Juboury said.

Iraqi media has released a document signed by the lawmakers, which urged for an emergency session to discuss the "disastrous consequences of the 2018 elections due to forgery, falsification of facts, confusion and low voter turnout."

Many Iraqi parties, especially in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan and the disputed areas, have complained about alleged irregularities and forgery in the parliamentary election held on May 12.

The complaints put the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) under pressure, as the electoral commission has not carried out manual recount of many ballot boxes and depended only on the electronic count of the votes.

Earlier, Riyadh al-Badran, head of the electoral commission, told a press conference "there is no justification for a manual recount yet," despite many accusations of voter fraud.

On May 12, millions of Iraqis went to 8,959 polling centers across the country to vote for their parliamentary representatives in the first general election after Iraq's historic victory over the Islamic State (IS) group last December.

Some 90 political entities and 7,000 candidates are vying for 329 seats in the parliament.