Iraqi PM Abadi says election fraud allegations to be investigated

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said a committee will investigate allegations of fraud in the May 12 national elections. (Reuters)
Updated 24 May 2018
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Iraqi PM Abadi says election fraud allegations to be investigated

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on Thursday that allegations of fraud in national elections held last week will be investigated, according to a statement from his office.
The electoral list of Moqtada Al-Sadr, a populist Shiite cleric, unexpectedly won the biggest number of seats in the May 12 ballot.
The fraud claims have centered on the city of Kirkuk — although there have been reports of irregularities in multiple provinces — and focused on the tabulation system in electronic voting machines that were used for the first time during the election.
A special committee appointed by the cabinet will investigate the allegations, Abadi’s office said.
Some candidates have also expressed concerns about voter intimidation and reports of chaotic distribution of ID cards, which they claim disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of people.
Following several days of complaints — including a call for an investigation by the UN’s senior envoy to Iraq, Jan Kubis — the country’s electoral commission said on Monday it had invalidated ballots from 103 polling stations in five provinces.
The investigatory committee, which will include advisers from the security and intelligence sectors, will have access to all documents pertaining to the electoral process, including from the electoral commission.
The commission could not immediately be reached for comment.


Oman marks its 48th National Day

Updated 30 min 15 sec ago
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Oman marks its 48th National Day

  • 48 years ago, in his first historic speech in 1970, Sultan Qaboos promised to establish a modern state
  • Oman and Saudi Arabia enjoy historic, brotherly relations on various issues

JEDDAH: The Sultanate of Oman has celebrated its 48th National Day, marking a period of peace and development under the leadership of Sultan Qaboos.

In celebration, Sultan Qaboos will preside over the “Glorious National Day” military parade on Sunday, which will be staged at the parade ground of the Royal Guard of Oman (RGO) Command.

On the occasion, Oman’s neighbors, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, have congratulated the country’s leadership and its people on the event of their national day.

Oman and Saudi Arabia enjoy historic, brotherly relations on various issues, in which both countries are keen on strengthening and developing the interests of their peoples and their leaders.

48 years ago, in his first historic speech in 1970, Sultan Qaboos promised to establish a modern state. Years have proven that with under his wisdom, inspired by the values of the past and future aspirations, Qaboos has built a nation that upholds the values of justice, citizenship, equality and law.

Throughout the years, Oman has made numerous and continuous achievements in various fields while maintaining its originality and heritage, all while remaining at pace with contemporary developments.

The most important feature of the modern “Omani Renaissance” is that Sultan Qaboos has laid the foundations and pillars of national unity as a firm pillar of this nation.

This is accompanied by programs to stimulate tourism and investment in tourism projects in the various provinces of the Sultanate.

Oman also tops rankings by international institutions in indicators on various fields, such as terror-free countries, reliability of police services, the judicial independence index, the road quality and the port services efficiency index.