Iraq's top court rejects appeal contesting election results

Development marks boost for influential cleric who was confirmed as the winner of the vote


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Iraqis voters cast their vote at a ballot station in the parliamentary elections in Baghdad. – AP
Iraqis voters cast their vote at a ballot station in the parliamentary elections in Baghdad. – AP

Published: Mon 27 Dec 2021, 5:36 PM

Iraq’s top court on Monday rejected an appeal filed by Iran-backed factions contesting the results of country’s parliamentary elections held in October. The development marked another boost for an influential cleric who had been confirmed as the winner of the vote.

The appeal was submitted by Hadi Al Ameri, head of a pro-Iran coalition that lost seats in the Oct. 10 vote.

Final results announced by Iraq’s electoral commission had confirmed Shiite cleric Muqtada AL Sadr secured 73 out of Parliament’s 329 seats. The results also confirmed that the faction known as the Fatah Alliance, which represents the Popular Mobilization Forces, secured 17 seats — down from 48 in the last elections.

The Federal Supreme Court had not ratified the election results, pending the appeal filed earlier this month by Al Ameri, who heads the Fatah Coalition. Monday’s verdict read out by Judge Jassim Mohammed rejecting the lawsuit is final and cannot be appealed. The lawsuit had cited alleged technical and legal violations.

Earlier Monday, hundreds of protesters closed entrances to Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, in anticipation of the court’s decision. Military forces fanned out across the area and set up checkpoints in the city. The Green Zone hosts most foreign diplomatic missions, including the U.S. Embassy.

There were no immediate reports of violence or clashes.

The United States, the UN Security Council and others have praised the Oct. 10 election, which was mostly violence-free and without major technical glitches.

But unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud have cast a shadow over the vote. The standoff with the militia supporters has also increasing tensions among rival factions that could reflect on the street and threaten Iraq’s newfound relative stability.

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