In Iraq, a powerful explosion occurred, killing 18 people

  • In Iraq, a powerful explosion occurred, killing 18 people

In Iraq, a powerful explosion occurred, killing 18 people

Iraq's parliament has voted to carry out a manual recount of votes cast in last month's legislative elections, amid allegations of widespread fraud.

Sadr is home to many supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada's al-Sadr whose coalition won the majority in the parliamentary elections held on May 12. Votes were counted using an electronic system that was meant to prevent fraud but is now being blamed for irregularities.

The measures include canceling votes cast by Iraqis living overseas, those living in camps displaced from the provinces of Anbar, Salahuddin, Nineveh, and Diyala, early votes cast by security forces in the Kurdistan Region. The commission initially refused to manually recount ballots, but the Council of Representatives vote forced it to be done.

During his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the commission found "widespread manipulation" and faulted election authorities for "not taking the needed measures or taking wrong ones".

REUTERS
REUTERS

After several failed attempts because of a lack of quorum, outgoing MPs met to order a recount at all polling stations, covering nearly 11 million votes, in response to charges of electoral fraud. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Abadi's stance raises the prospect of further uncertainty in Iraq at a time when political blocs were starting the complicated process of forming a new government, watched closely by Baghdad's Western allies.

They also said it had caused "martyrs and wounded".

Baghdad awarded Korean company Miru Systems a $135 million contract for the system, which includes around 70,000 devices to be used across the country.