Turnout in Iraq’s election reached 43%, says IHEC

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Voter turnout in Iraq’s parliamentary election earlier this month reached 43 percent, the country’s electoral commission said late on Saturday.

The turnout slightly increased from preliminary results, which the electoral commission placed at 41%.

More than 9.6 million people cast their ballots in the October 10 election, according to the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC).

Head of IHEC Council of Commissioners Jalil Adnan said the results were still preliminary and that they could be appealed.

Results of manual counting in 3,681 polling stations matched electronic voting, he added.

Member of the IHEC Imad Jamil said the electoral commission had received 356 complaints from the political parties, two of which were considered “red”.

Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said his movement secured the biggest number of seats in the parliament adding that he would not challenge the results.

“We will seek to form [a] non-sectarian and non-ethnic national coalition under the umbrella of reform,” al-Sadr, who opposes all foreign interference and whose main rivals are Iran-allied Shi’ite groups, said in a statement on Saturday, according to Reuters.

The electoral commission had previously said on Oct. 10 that turnout was 41% in preliminary results. In the last election in 2018, total turnout was 44.5%.

On Saturday, head of Iraqi Civil National Front Ayad Allawi said the turnout did not exceed 12%, calling on the president and the federal court to not approve the results of the election.

“The minority participated in the elections has no right to determine the fate of the majority that boycotted the polls,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Iraqi electoral commission said it would announce final results for the general election after 20 days.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi is not running for re-election, but negotiations after the vote could yet see him get a second term. Kadhimi, who is viewed as friendly to the West, has no party to back him.

At least 167 parties and more than 3,200 candidates are competing for parliament’s 329 seats, according to the election commission.

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