Iraq concludes manual recount of May 12 poll results

BAGHDAD (AA) – Electoral officials have finished conducting a countrywide manual recount of the results of Iraq’s May 12 parliamentary election.

The announcement came in a Monday news flash broadcast on Iraqi state television, reading: “The Electoral Commission officially declares the end of the manual recount.”

It remains unclear, however, when the authorities plan to announce the results of the recount, which was carried out — in all of Iraq’s 18 provinces — over a roughly one-month period.

For more than two months, results of Iraq’s hard-fought May 12 parliamentary poll have remained the subject of bitter dispute amid widespread allegations of voter fraud.

According to those 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.