Everybody looking for a crooked April election had their sites set of Afghanistan, where corruption and vote counting is at almost legendary proportions. Iraq’s good at that too, though.
Citing “intense pressure” from the Maliki government, every single member of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) in Iraq resigned today, leaving open the question of how the April 30 vote will take place.
IHEC’s complaints roughly mirror those of the last election, that the Maliki government is trying to use the electoral law’s ban on candidates of “ill repute” to ban potential rivals en masse.
Different interpretations of the electoral law, and other de-Baathification laws have been justified to make it virtually impossible for many Sunnis to even register as candidates, and after the most recent election, the Maliki government went about banning several successful candidates after the vote was counted, in an effort to up their own representation in parliament.
The previous election saw the Sunni-dominated Iraqiya Party win the largest plurality, with Maliki’s State of Law faction eventually retaining power in a “power-sharing” deal imposed on them by the US. Maliki reneged on virtually all power-sharing, and retains the position of Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Interior Minister, and Chief of Staff for the military.