Iraq Parties Unite Against “Rigged Election” Results
The losing Sunni Arab and secular parties have united to denounce the results of last week’s “rigged election.”
Sunni Arab and secular parties in Iraq have united to reject the results of last week’s parliamentary elections, saying there was widespread fraud. Representatives from 35 parties issued a statement threatening to boycott the new parliament if their complaints were not properly investigated. Iraq’s election commission says it has received complaints, but does not think the overall results will be affected. The final results are expected to be announced at the beginning of January.
The Iraqi Accord Front was joined at the meeting in Baghdad’s Green Zone by the other main Sunni bloc, Saleh al-Mutlak’s Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, and former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s secular Iraqi National List. “We totally reject the results of these rigged elections and call for the cancellation of the early results,” a joint statement issued by the parties said. “We hold the IECI responsible for all the violations which took place during the elections and demand that it be dissolved and a suitable alternative to be found,” it added. “If this is not achieved, then we will have no choice but to refuse the results and boycott the new parliament.”
Ibrahim al-Janabi, a spokesman for the Iraqi National List, said his party had lost confidence in the political process. “These elections are fraudulent, and the next parliament is illegitimate,” he said.
Mazen al-Jumaili of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a member of the United Iraqi Alliance, told the BBC on Wednesday that some violations were to be expected, but that they were not significant. The US was also confident the election had been free and fair, and said it believed the Iraqi election commission would investigate any complaints systematically.
Aside from discredited reports of trucks from Iran smuggling ballots in, I see no evidence that the election results–distant as they are from my desires–represent anything other than the will of the Iraqi people.
Denouncing an election as illegitimate, as we have seen in the last two American presidential elections, poisons the well and deepens existing cleavages. That is not a good thing in a democracy as strong as ours; it is geometrically worse in a fledgling one like Iraq.