Iraq Militias Still Claim Election Fraud to Explain Loss

Claims of vote problems increase tensions among Shi'ites

Manual recounts didn’t show any sign of Iraq’s election results changing, even if threats from militias did get them promises of extra seats from the election commission.

That’s not ending claims of fraud, which are fueling a lot of tension between the various Shi’ite political factions. Some, especially the ones that lost in the vote, are using it as an excuse for rejecting the results, and even lacking evidence could drag on the process.

Iraqi elections are never smooth, and this time is no exception. The plurality went to the Muqtada al-Sadr’s party, but forming a government will depend on attracting allies, and calls for reform may favor counter-reform factions like Nouri al-Maliki’s. Meanwhile the militias don’t want to admit how badly they lost, and could just keep pushing for more recounts, which from a perspective of military force they can probably get.

After years of caretaker governments, Iraq now has to move forward with some group or another, and there is a lot of hard work involved for any one faction to come out of this with a proper mandate.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.