Only Iraq supreme court can decide on election re-run - PM's spokesman

  • Only Iraq supreme court can decide on election re-run - PM's spokesman

Only Iraq supreme court can decide on election re-run - PM's spokesman

He said Baghdad will take all necessary measures, and pledged an iron fist policy against those who undermine the country's security.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said the fire was confined to one of four warehouses at the site.

Iraqi authorities said that none of the ballot papers were destroyed in the blaze.

A fire has torn through Iraq's largest ballot warehouse, ahead of a controversial recount prompted by allegations of fraud. "A fire at a building containing potential proof of how people voted will only make accusations of voter rigging even louder". "It is possible there were also some ballot boxes in the warehouse that caught fire, but most of the important boxes are in the three warehouses where the fire has been controlled", the spokesman said in a video message from the site of the fire.

A recount and certainly a new election round would definitely profit the pro-Iranian parties, and they would probably do their utmost to reverse the results of the elections to secure a majority in parliament with the active help of Iran.

The election marked the first time Iraqi ballots were counted electronically and not by hand.

According to intelligence services, however, tests of electronic voting machines - used for the first time in Iraqi elections - produced varied results, appearing to give credence to the fraud claims.

Mr Al Abadi said only the Supreme Court could decide whether to re-run the ballot, which was won by Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr's Sairoun bloc, after the parliament called for a nationwide recount of the votes.

Certain parties are trying to drag Iraq into civil war, Sadr said, adding that he would not participate in one.

"The room where voting machines and other election equipment were stored was destroyed by the fire", Imed Jamil, an election commission official for Al-Russafa told AFP. Such a case is the current Speaker of Parliament, Salim al-Jabouri, who lost his seat in parliament and urged new elections. Sadr's bloc boycotted the parliamentary session in which the vote took place.

Earlier on Monday, al-Sadr called on Iraqi political groups to abstain from fighting for power.

Before the parliament had acted the electoral commission said it was voiding 1,021 ballot boxes from around the country, along with votes cast by Iraqis overseas and Iraqis still living in displacement camps that were set up during the battles against ISIL. Baghdad is Iraq's most populous province, accounting for 71 seats out of the Iraqi parliament's 329.

The legislature on Wednesday also sacked the nine-member independent commission which oversaw the polls.

The board of commissioners has said it would appeal against the law forcing the recount.

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.