Iraq arrests 4 suspects over burning warehouses storing ballot boxes

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-12 04:45:30|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BAGHDAD, June 11 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi police on Monday arrested four suspects over involvement is setting fire at warehouses in Baghdad storing ballot boxes of May 12 parliamentary elections, the Iraqi judiciary said.

A Baghdad investigation court ordered arrest for three policemen and an employee of the Iraqi electoral commission accused of burning the warehouses in downtown Baghdad, which contained ballot boxes of eastern side of Risafa in Baghdad and electronic counting devices, Abdul Sattar al-Biraqdar, spokesman for Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council said in a brief statement.

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

Hours after the fire, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, also the Commander-in-Chief of Iraqi forces, pledged to pursue the "terrorist gangs," and issued instructions to tighten security measures at the electoral commission warehouses across the country.

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.