Shiite cleric Sadr warns of danger on Iraq by political row

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-11 19:43:36|Editor: mmm
Video PlayerClose

BAGHDAD, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's prominent Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr Monday warned of the seriousness of the situation in Iraq by the political struggle after a huge fire that burnt warehouses storing ballot boxes of Iraq's parliamentary election in downtown capital Baghdad.

"Iraq is in danger. So stop fighting for seats, posts, gains, influence and power," Sadr said in an statement issued by his office, one day after a fire broke out at electoral commission's warehouses in Gailani neighborhood in downtown Baghdad, which contain ballot boxes of eastern side of Risafa in Baghdad and electronic counting devices.

The burned ballot boxes are part of a manual recount of votes, after the Iraqi parliament on June 6 approved recount of votes in all polling stations across Iraq over allegations of fraud and irregularities in the May 12 parliamentary election.

"Is it not time to stand in one row for building and reconstruction instead of burning the ballot boxes or repeat elections just for one or two seats?" Sadr asked.

"I won't sell the homeland for the (parliament) seats, I won't sell the people for power. Iraq is what I care for, as for positions they do not represent anything to me," Sadr concluded.

On May 19, the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) announced the final results of the parliamentary election, which showed that Sadr-backed al-Sa'iroon Coalition was the front-runner and won 54 seats in the upcoming 329-seat parliament.

Many Iraqi parties, especially in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan and the disputed areas, including Kirkuk province, have complained about alleged irregularities and forgery in the parliamentary election.

The complaints put 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.

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 group last December.