Iraq finalises manual counting of election votes
Iraqi authorities confirmed the manual counting of votes from last week's parliamentary election was completed across polling stations on Saturday.
Political parties across the country are now awaiting the final results of Sunday’s elections, with the Prime Minister’s Advisor for Election Affairs Abdul-Hussein Al-Hindawi saying "results of the manual count are identical to the electronic one,” state news agency reported.
The reports came after the Independent High Electoral Commission had announced earlier today that 95% of the manual counting had been completed in all 3,681 stations.
Iraq’s government has reiterated on several occasions this week that the election was fair and professional after political groups earlier accused officials of mishandling votes.
Baghdad has also pointed to praise from international observers.
Speaking at a Chatham House panel discussion on the elections, member of the European Parliament Viola Von Cramon-Taubadel said: “In terms of administration, in terms of having everything, people knew what they were doing and the technology worked, mainly — I cannot say this for Berlin, honestly.”
The initial results of the elections came as a shock to some of Iraqi politics' biggest kingmakers. Their parties and blocs trailed far behind the Sadrist Movement led by cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, which won more than 70 of Iraqi parliament's 329 seats, while the Al-Fateh Alliance, which includes factions of the Popular Mobilisation loyal to Iran, recorded a painful loss.
Sadr, whose relations with Iran-backed groups have at times been acrimonious, defended the election results.
The Sadrist bloc is to put forward one of its members as choice for prime minister, state media quoted Sadrist representative Nasser al-Rubaie as saying on Friday.