Iraqi PM Bans Election Officials From Traveling, Claims Violations

Election Commission calls for cancellation of overseas, displaced votes

Nearly a month after his defeat in the May 12 election, Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder Abadi is now claiming “dangerous violations” of the vote. He talked up possible charges being filed against some people, and also banned members of the electoral commission from leaving the country.

Ballots stored in Najaf

IHEC, the independent high electoral commission, is said to be recommending the cancellation of votes from all voters who are either overseas or displaced from their homes. Since internally displaced people are almost all from former ISIS territory, this would likely cost a lot of votes by Sunnis.

Even with that and substantial recounts, it is unlikely that Abadi’s political bloc would gain substantially from its current position. At 42 seats, Abadi’s bloc is in third place, behind the winning bloc of Moqtada al-sadr (54 seats) and Badr Brigade leaderĀ  Hadi Amiri (47 seats).

Forming a majority government is going to require 165 seats, which is going to require a lot of coalition building. Making progress on that front, however, is likely to be on hold while the recount takes place, and the result of the vote really isn’t finalized.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.