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Allawi calls for Iraqis to re-vote after '50 percent' discrepancy in Kirkuk

Saturday, 07 July 2018 20:53
Ayad Allawi, one of Iraq's three vice presidents, was interim Prime Minister from June 2004 until May 2005. File photo: AFP Ayad Allawi, one of Iraq's three vice presidents, was interim Prime Minister from June 2004 until May 2005. File photo: AFP

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi called for a re-election, saying that a manual recount of the votes in Kirkuk province revealed a discrepency exceeding 50 percent.

"The percentage of discrepancies revealed by the manual recount in Kirkuk exceeded 50 percent affirming the farce of the elections," tweeted Allawi.

Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission ended manual counting of ballots on Thursday, but they are yet to be released. Smaller Kurdistani parties have accused the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of fraud in Kirkuk.

"This is a crime against the people that cannot be ignored. Iraq re-election," he added, reiterating his call for a re-vote.

The PUK won 6 of 12 seats in Kirkuk, according to official preliminary results released by the IHEC after the parliamentary election that was held on May 12.

Allawi, considered a moderate Shiite politician in Iraq, teamed with incumbent parliamentary speaker Salim al-Jabouri, a Sunni, on the Wataniya (National) list.The initial results put the list in sixth with just 21 seats.

Four smaller Kurdistani parties — the Change Movement (Gorran), the Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ), the Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal), and the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) have also alleged voter fraud in the PUK's strongholds of Sulaimani and Kirkuk.

Hawzhin Omer, the head of the Komal's Elections' Center, told Rudaw that the during the manual recount process, their representatives merely observed the process and didn’t participate in the actual process. 

“In one ballot box the votes of the Nishtiman list increased from 20 to 60. If we take this as a sample, it is a great discrepancy,” Omer revealed.

 The Nishtiman (Homeland) list was a joint alliance between Komal, Gorran, and CDJ for candidates in Kirkuk, where they won no seats.

 Omer revealed that most of the ballot boxes recounted were from Arab areas in Kirkuk, positing that the recount of the ballots from Kurdish areas would detail greater discrepancy.

 “On the first day of the process, the discrepancy was great, but it was later decreased, and we find this a deliberate effort to undermine the process,” Omer posited. The PUK is patiently waiting to see whether its seat count changes.

 “Although preliminary results show that not great differences have emerged, the PUK is waiting for final results to be announced by the high independent electoral commission of Iraq,” Rebwar Taha, a PUK MP, told Rudaw.

 Kirkuk, a disputed and diverse city, is claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad. Iraqi forces have been responsible for security in the city after their takeover from the Peshmerga in October.

Source: Rudaw