By Haydar Karaalp
BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission said Thursday that a manual recount of the May 12 parliamentary election results is compatible with the electronic count.
In a statement, the commission said only one seat from the Baghdad Coalition moved to the Al-Fatih bloc, which belongs to the Hashd al-Shaabi-led coalition, increasing its seats to 48 as "minor differences" occurred.
The commission will submit the final results to Iraq's Federal Court for approval.
For more than two months, the results of Iraq’s hard-fought parliamentary polls have remained the subject of a bitter dispute amid widespread allegations of voter fraud.
According to the results, Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Sairoon Coalition won 54 parliamentary seats, followed by a Hashd al-Shaabi-led coalition (47 seats) and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's Victory Bloc (42 seats).
On June 6, members of Iraq’s outgoing parliament voted in favor of manually recounting all votes cast in the election.
Once Iraq’s Federal Court approves the results of the just-concluded recount, incoming MPs will hold a first session to elect a new assembly speaker.
Within 30 days of that first session, the assembly will elect — by a two-thirds majority — Iraq’s next president.
The president will then task the largest bloc in parliament with drawing up a government, which must be referred back to parliament for approval.