Only Iraq supreme court can decide on election re-run: PM's spokesman

Only Iraq supreme court can decide on election re-run: PM's spokesman

Fewer than 45 percent of voters cast a ballot, a record low, and allegations of fraud began nearly immediately after the vote.

Sadr aide Dhiaa al-Asadi described the fire as a plot created to force a repeat of the election and hide fraud. He said Baghdad will take all necessary measures, and pledged an iron fist policy against those who undermine the country's security.

The majority of the ballots were kept in three storehouses the fire did not reach, investigators said.

Iraqi authorities said the ballot boxes were saved but the fire has added to fears of violence.

A fire ripped through Iraq's biggest ballot warehouse on Sunday where votes for the eastern Baghdad district were stored, before a recount ordered by parliament, a security official said.

"They are burning the votes of the Iraqi people".

Smoke rises from a storage site in Baghdad, Iraq, which housed ballot boxes from Iraq's May parliamentary election, on June 10, 2018.

"The criminals manipulated the results of the elections because they know that the results that were announced are not true, so they burned the ballot boxes". Iraq's parliament agreed last week to manually recount ballots amid accusations of voter fraud.

The elections were marred by complaints about the alleged manipulation of the electronic voting system used for the first time in May.

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Jabouri lost his seat in the May 12 legislative elections, which were won by an alliance headed by Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. One of Sadr's top aides expressed concern that some parties were trying to sabotage the cleric's victory.

"The room where voting machines and other election equipment were stored was destroyed by the fire", Imed Jamil, an election commission official for Al-Russafa told AFP.

But the result was contested following allegations of fraud namely by the veteran politicians, including parliamentary speaker Salim al-Juburi. Sadr's bloc boycotted the parliamentary session in which the vote took place.

Less than half of Iraq's 24-million electorate took part, dumping the old guard in favour 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 Islamic State group.

An Iraqi court on Monday ordered the arrest of four people suspected of starting a fire that tore through a Baghdad building storing ballots from last month's elections, according to a state TV report. Baghdad is Iraq's most populous province, accounting for 71 seats out of the Iraqi parliament's 329. Gen. Saad Maan. Only one, housing electronic equipment and documents, had burnt down.

Iraq's largest ballot paper warehouse has caught fire with flames destroying parts of the complex.

Over 170 lawmakers had chose to suspend Article 38 of the electoral law, which stipulates that vote counting shall be done electronically, while members of the Supreme Electoral Committee are to be replaced by nine judges to oversee the vote recount.

"Iran would have preferred if Fatih and (Maliki's) State of Law (list) had done better than Sadr so any kind of redo where a different scenario comes out is better for Iran", said Mansour.

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