Allawi calls referendum on Iraq election results

Iraq election: Fire hits Baghdad recount warehouse

After allegations of fraud during the May 12 elections parliament has passed a resolution for a recount of 11 million votes last week.

Baghdad firefighters managed to control the fire that broke out June 10 at the Metropolitan warehouse containing ballots.

Recounts, the firing of the commission, the burning of the warehouse, and the legal challenges by the commission all look to drag on post-election wrangling before a coalition negotiation can really begin in earnest.

He said the government would "take all necessary measures and strike with an iron fist against those who undermine Iraq's security".

The authorities say the ballot boxes were saved and the fire will not affect the recount.

The election was won by Sadr's electoral alliance with communists, with long-time political figures pushed out by Iraqi voters who were hoping for change.

A fire raged through Baghdad's largest ballot storage site on Sunday, just days after parliament ordered a recount of May's election results amid accusations of fraud.

However, the results were published with a great delay (only on May 19) due to allegations of massive fraud within the Kurdish-populated provinces of Kirkuk and Dahuk. The outgoing parliament also called for the Independent High Elections Commission's leadership to be replaced by nine judges.

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Iraq's prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, whose ticket had placed third in the May 12th election, approved the move for the recount by the lawmakers saying the election commission was to blame for what he described as widespread irregularities.

Less than half of Iraq's population took part in last month's election in what was widely interpreted as a show of disillusionment with established elites - a trend further demonstrated in the swing to Mr al-Sadr's coalition.

The Baghdad warehouse complex where ballot boxes were stored.

Less than half of Iraq's 24-million electorate took part, dumping the old guard in favor of Sadr's alliance followed by a list of former fighters of the Hashed al-Shaabi alliance that previous year played a key role in the defeat of the Daesh terror group.

Coupled with the historically low turnout of about 45 percent, the allegations of violations cast an unflattering spotlight on the election - Iraq's first since ISIL took over and subsequently lost almost one-third of the country's territory.

State television reported on Monday that a court had ordered the arrest of four people accused of setting fire to the storage site - three policemen and an employee of the Independent High Election Commission. One of Sadr's top aides expressed concerns that some parties were trying to sabotage the cleric's victory.

In the election, Iraq used an electronic vote-counting system for the first time.

Opponents of the recount have pointed out that many of those who voted for it lost seats in the election.

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