Manual recount of Iraqi election to begin as pro-Iran parties prepare to govern

Manual recount of Iraqi election to begin as pro-Iran parties prepare to govern

Today, a panel of Iraqi judges will begin a manual recount of votes from the allegedly fraudulent May parliamentary elections.

Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission employee closes a ballot box at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Baghdad

Photo: Reuters/Abdullah Dhiaa al-Deen

Today, a panel of Iraqi judges will begin a manual recount of votes from the allegedly fraudulent May parliamentary elections.

The allegations target seven provinces in Iraq and come after the country’s election commission introduced electronic voting machines country-wide for the first time to expedite counting. The initial results gave populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s bloc the largest share of the vote.

Despite the recount, signs of a coalition government forming are becoming apparent. Last week, the party of current PM Haider al-Abadi, which clinched third place, entered into an alliance with al-Sadr’s faction. This followed a similar alliance between a bloc led by cleric Hadi al-Amiri, an Iranian-ally who claimed second place, and the Sadrist Movement.

It is becoming increasingly evident that, regardless of the outcome of a recount, any new government will likely include one or both of Iraq’s Islamist Shia parties. Indeed, Baghdad’s ties with Iran have warmed considerably over the past decade and Iraq’s next government is likely to continue this trend.

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