Iraq federal court refuses to cancel manual vote count

Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court yesterday rejected a request by the country’s election commission to invalidate legislative amendments under which the electronic vote count has been abolished. Last week, the Iraqi Parliament amended the election law to adopt only the manual count of votes in the May 12 parliamentary election.
The court “unanimously decided to reject the request to stop executing provisions of the third amendment to the election law,” Iyas al-Samouk, a spokesman for the court, said in a statement.
On Monday, the Supreme Judicial Council named nine judges as new members for the electoral commission after parliament froze the membership of the previous members amid accusations of failing to carry out the voting process and “collaboration in fraud and manipulation.”
Earlier this week, a huge fire broke out in the largest warehouse of ballot boxes in the capital, Baghdad, notably, before the start of the manual recount, which was expected to begin later this week.
On Monday, former Iraqi Vice President Iyad Allawi called for a national referendum on the results of the parliamentary election, in which firebrand Shia cleric Muqatada al-Sadr’s Sairoon coalition won most votes