Iraqi PM speaks by phone with Kurdish premier

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi (L) and Kurdistan Region Premier Masrour Barzani pose for a picture

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi spoke by phone with Kurdish premier Masrour Barzani on Sunday, following the closure of polling stations across Iraq.

Kadhimi’s press office said in a tweet that the prime minister had received a phone call from Barzani, who thanked him for “his efforts and personal supervision for succeeding the 2021 legislative elections”.

In a statement, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said Barzani and Kadhimi emphasized the importance of investigating violations and complaints.

“Every vote counts,” Barzani said. “He and I also agreed that trust in the country’s political process depends on timely and transparent investigations.”

Iraqis headed to polling stations across Iraq on Sunday to elect a new parliament. Voter turnout is still unclear, but the electoral commission placed the turnout at 19% as of mid-day.

The electoral commission said earlier on Friday that the results would be announced within 24 hours.

The election was held several months early under a new law designed to help independent candidates – a response to mass anti-government protests two years ago.

As many as 24,029,927 people were eligible to vote in 8,273 polling stations in Iraqi provinces and the Kurdistan Region. Voters had to present a biometric card for what was conceived as a fully electronic voting process.

As many as 3,226 candidates were in the running, including nearly 950 women.

*This story was updated at 7:25 p.m. EBL time 

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