Last Update 5:57
Monday, 21 May 2018

Iraqi election commission says Kirkuk voting stations under siege, staff inside

Reuters , Wednesday 16 May 2018
Kirkuk
File Photo: An Iraqi man casts his vote at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Kirkuk, Iraq May 12, 2018 (Photo: Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 883
Share/Bookmark
Views: 883

Gunmen in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk were on Wednesday besieging several polling stations containing election staff, four days after a national vote, the head of the electoral commission said.

Riyadh al-Badran said the gunmen, who he did not identify, were putting pressure on the commission to change the election results in the multi-ethnic region.

"The employees of the commission are in a hostage situation," he said, calling on authorities to provide protection.

The final nationwide results should be announced in the next two days, Badran said.

The initial results in Kirkuk were disputed by the Turkmen and Arab communities of the region which is also inhabited by a large Kurdish population.

The election commission said on Tuesday that initial results from Kirkuk indicated a win for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), a historic Iraqi Kurdish party.

In October, Iraqi forces backed by Shia militias dislodged Kurdish Peshmerga fighters who had taken control of Kirkuk city in 2014, preventing its capture by Islamic State (IS) militants who had overrun Iraqi army positions in northern and western Iraq.

The return of the Iraqi army to Kirkuk was greeted with relief by the Arab and Turkmen populations there.

Saturday's elections were the first in Iraq since the defeat of IS last year by Iraqi forces backed by a U.S.-led coalition.

Initial nationwide results showed a surprise victory for the bloc that supports populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a Shia not aligned with Iran who campaigned on a nationalist platform, tapping into public resentment against widespread corruption and huge social disparities.

A tally by Reuters of provincial results announced over the past three days shows Sadr's list leading, followed by Amiri, a close ally of Iran, and then outgoing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani was holding talks with politicians in Baghdad to promote the formation of a new cabinet which would have Iran's approval, two people familiar with the political process underway said. 

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.