Karwan Salhi - Kirkuk Despite lack of any official result from the electoral body, all parties in Kirkuk claim vote increase after the partial manual recount. The judges responsible for the manual recount, instead of the electoral commissioners, declared the end of the process on Friday, 6 July. Representatives of the Arab and Turkmens, discontent with election results, now claim that the manual recount has revealed fraud in the election results. They accuse the pro-Kurdish Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of the act. However, PUK also claims vote increase. Arab component: Rigging was extensive The spokesman of Arab Gathering in Kirkuk Hatam Ta’e insisted the process was “went smoothly” and told KirkukNow, “The results have emerged gradually, which shows an extensive rigging, especially the suspected ballot boxes, along with some others.” The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) only recounts the designated ballot boxes, numbering 500. However, the Arab component, now holding three seats out of the allocated 12 in the province, call for the total recount, on the pretext of rigging.
Those parties which are involved in rigging attempt to conceal results of some ballot boxes“The result of the recounted boxes is very different from the electronic results, and we ask for the total recount,” Ta’e said, while he claimed that their votes have increased. Turkmen: 30 thousand votes returned The Turkmen component, now holding three seats, expect the fourth through the recount, as they claim to have an additional 30 thousand votes. The head of the Kirkuk branch of Turkmen Eli Party, Ali Karyagdi, told KirkukNow, “According to the data and statistics [given by] our representatives present at the resorting and recounting centres, 30 thousand votes have been returned to us, and 15 for Arabs, as PUK has lost 45 thousand votes.” Karyagdi insisted that the percentage of rigging was 50%, “Only at the centres of Imam Hussein, Peshawa, Industrial Area of Daquq and Shafaq, Jamal Abdulnasir centre in Kirkuk downtown, Turkmen Front have received two thousand and 501 votes, 613 for Arabs, while PUK has lost three thousand and 430 votes.” Turkmens have reservations on the way that the votes are recounted, “Those parties which are involved in rigging attempt to conceal results of some ballot boxes, and they broke some of the boxes while transporting them.” PUK: No decrease in votes Since the first day of the recount, PUK was with threatening to protest in case of “meddling with the results” while they insisted on vote increase. Member of PUK’s Central Council and the successful PUK parliamentary candidate, Almas Fazil, told KirkukNow, “We are committed to the decision of the federal court, but we have suspicions of meddling with the ballot boxes because they were in the hands of some parties which we do not trust.”
The manual recount is not very much different from the electronic one“Our votes won’t decrease but increase. Our representatives are not in the recount rooms, but IHEC members are there. The manual recount is not very much different from the electronic one,” Alams said. She added, “We have filed a complaint at IHEC and some relevant parties against the act of smashing ballot boxes or breaking their lock.”