Iraq election: some Ballot boxes burned before recount in east Baghdad

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SHAFAQNA – A massive fire broke out Sunday in three warehouses containing ballot boxes of Iraq’s parliamentary election in downtown capital Baghdad.

According to BBC, the fire hit Iraq’s biggest ballot paper warehouse that was being used to store votes ahead of a recount. Votes for the eastern district of the Iraqi capital Baghdad were being held in the building.

It is not clear if voting papers have been destroyed or what caused the fire in the storage centre.

Last month’s legislative elections were won by an alliance headed by the populist Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr.

Amid allegations of widespread fraud, on Wednesday Iraq‘s parliament requested a manual recount of around 10 million votes cast.

Firefighters were attempting to control the fire at the storage site, which housed ballot boxes of the al-Rusafa district in the east of Baghdad.

An interior ministry spokesman told the Reuters news agency that the blaze had destroyed some documents and equipment, but efforts were being made to stop it from affecting ballot boxes.

However, Baghdad province council member Mohamed al-Rabeei told Reuters that “all the boxes and papers have burned”.

The fire started hours after a number of judges were officially tasked with carrying out the manual process of recounting the votes from May’s election.

Earlier on Sunday, the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council named the judges who will take over the independent electoral commission to carry out the manual recount of last month’s elections as per the parliament’s recommendation, according to CNN.

The parliament voted in favor of a nationwide manual recount last Wednesday after Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, whose coalition came third in the voting, said the recount was necessary considering the reported violations.

 

Read more from Shafaqna: 

MOHEB ALI: IRAQIS ARE LOOKING FOR IMPROVING THEIR POSITION IN ARAB WORLD   

ISIS CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY OVER ASSASSINATION OF IRAQ ELECTION CANDIDATE       

AYAT. SISTANI URGES IRAQIS TO AVOID SECTARIANISM IN UPCOMING ELECTIONS         

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