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On the fire that ruined Iraq’s elections

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The fire that broke out in the ballot box storage in Baghdad did not only devour the ballot boxes, but it also undermined the credibility and integrity of the Iraqi elections and the credibility of the ongoing political process in the country. This country is currently on the verge of becoming the “country of one river after the Tigris dries up or is dried up”.

After the end of the voting, the hesitation and delay in announcing the results, followed by the challenging of the electronic vote count, the wars of exchanged accusations, the parliament’s decision regarding recounting the votes, and the Judicial Council’s decision to appoint nine judges to carry out the tasks of the Independent High Electoral Commission, and the deliberate fire, it seems that the electoral/political process is wavering after its integrity, credibility and transparency were killed.

We do not know how the debate on “what to do next” will end, especially with opinions and proposals going in every direction. These directions include accepting the results of the elections as they are and how they were announced, and a wide range of ideas related to completely or partially hand counting the votes in all of Iraq or in the electorally ‘challenged” areas that independent assessments rank as the worst in terms of integrity. This is the situation with voting abroad, private voting, and voting in some Kurdish and mixed areas.

The truth is that we met with three distinguished researchers on the day before the elections and one of them (Dr Basel Hussain) specifically spoke about the electronic counting system. Not about how........

© Middle East Monitor