Iraqi PM calls on political parties to meet after Eid holiday

BAGHDAD, June 14 (Xinhua) — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi Thursday called on the Iraqi political parties to hold a meeting after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr to agree on new mechanisms that would establish the next parliament and government.

The call came amid a political row after allegations of fraud and irregularities in the parliamentary election held on May 12.

“Despite the irregularities and violations of the elections, the adoption of legal methods, obeying the law and the constitution, is the only way to resolve these problems and move towards the formation of a new parliament and a government,” Abadi said in a televised speech.

“I invite the political blocs to hold a high-level meeting immediately after the Eid holiday, to put our hands together in order to ensure the safety of the political process and democratic gains and agree on specific mechanisms to speed up the formation of constitutional institutions depending on our national decision and the interests of our country and our people,” Abadi said.

“The real victory is our success in preserving our country and our people and the achievements that we made, in order to strengthen them by building and reconstruction for better future of all Iraqis. (While) the loss lies in being dragged behind factional and personal differences and gains,” Abadi added.

Abadi’s speech came after serious setbacks in the Iraqi political process following the parliamentary elections on May 12, after the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) announced the final results of the parliamentary election, which showed that al-Sa’iroon Coalition backed by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr was the front-runner and won 54 seats in the upcoming 329-seat parliament.

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Many Iraqi parties, especially in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan and the disputed areas, including Kirkuk province, have complained about alleged irregularities and forgery in the parliamentary election.

On June 11, Sadr warned of the seriousness of the situation in Iraq by the political struggle after a huge fire that burnt warehouses storing ballot boxes of Iraq’s parliamentary election in downtown capital Baghdad.

“Iraq is in danger. So stop fighting for seats, posts, gains, influence and power,” Sadr said in an statement issued by his office, one day after a fire broke out at electoral commission’s warehouses in Gailani neighborhood in downtown Baghdad, which contain ballot boxes of eastern side of Risafa in Baghdad and electronic counting devices.

The burned ballot boxes are part of a manual recount of votes, after the Iraqi parliament on June 6 approved recount of votes in all polling stations across Iraq over allegations of fraud and irregularities in the May 12 parliamentary election.

On May 12, millions of Iraqis went to 8,959 polling centers across the country to vote for their representatives in the next 329-seat parliament that will form a new government which will rule Iraq for the next four years.


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