A member of Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), Saad Kakayee was filmed apologizing to the members of the IHEC Commissioner’s Council for saying that they had failed to follow up on complaints of electoral irregularities.
“I don’t have any evidence of IHEC members [engaging in] electoral fraud or corruption,” he said.
“I apologize to you that some people complicated the situation because of media and political pressure,” he added.
Kakayee gave a statement on allegations of electoral irregularities during a parliamentary session on June 30, 2018, with specific reference to the fourth amendment of the Elections Law.
He said that, following the election on May 12, there were 1,468 complaints filed by political parties across Iraq, including 450 in Sulaimani governorate.
He added that the complaints were all dismissed because members of the IHEC Commissioner’s Council were “afraid of legal investigation.”
It was the first cycle where Iraq’s electoral commission used electronic voting and vote counting in an effort to eliminate electoral fraud.
On May 24, office of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, said a special committee appointed by the Iraqi cabinet would investigate allegations of electoral fraud during the election.
The Change Movement (Gorran), Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG), Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), Coalition for Democracy and Justice, Kurdistan Islamic Movement, the Kurdistan Communist Party, and the New Generation Movement all rejected the preliminary results of the election and claimed that there had been widespread fraud.
Turkmen and Arab lists also rejected the results in Kirkuk, where the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) appeared to have won the most seats.
The Iraqi parliamentary elections saw disappointingly low voter turnout, with only 44 percent of voters casting a ballot.
Around 10 million eligible voters cast their ballots during the election out of a total of 24 million Iraqis who were eligible.
(NRT Digital Media)