Iraq’s Top Court Upholds Election Recount, Reverses Vote Cancellations

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -
Judge Medhat al-Mahmoud, presiding over the Supreme Federal Court, reads the verdict concerning the amendment of an election law in Baghdad, Thursday. (Reuters/Abdullah Dhiaa al-Deen)

Iraq’s top court on Thursday upheld a law mandating a nationwide recount of votes in a May parliamentary election, but ruled that the cancellation of overseas, displaced and Peshmerga ballots was unconstitutional.

Iraq, OPEC’s second largest oil producer, faces political uncertainty after the election, which was marred by a historically low turnout and allegations of fraud.

Parliament, which had mandated the recount after a government report found serious violations had taken place, had also canceled some results such as overseas and displaced votes by amending the election law this month.

The verdict from the Supreme Federal Court confirms the recount process, which was opposed by the elections commission and some parties who made significant gains in the election.

“The Supreme Federal Court finds that parliament’s decision was to organize the electoral process and restore voter confidence in the electoral process; it was within parliament’s constitutional rights and does not contradict the constitution,” said Chief Justice Medhat al-Mahmoud

Attending lawmakers cheered as Mahmoud read out the verdict.