A Certified Mess (Updated)
Posted by Reidar Visser on Tuesday, 1 June 2010 15:13
The Iraqi federal supreme court has today ratified the final result of the 7 March elections – sort of. The caveats relate to two of the 325 candidates that were not approved, Furat al-Sharaa of the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) in Basra, and Umar Abd al-Sattar al-Karbuli, a compensation seat appointee of Iraqiyya. The two men could be disqualified on the basis of membership of the armed forces and legal verdicts respectively, and their cases remain pending.
The following discrepancies from the provisional final result released on 26 March can be noted from press reports pending publication of the revised list of seat winners by the Iraqi election commission (IHEC):
– There has been no word on Raad al-Bayati, an Iraqiyya candidate in Diyala who was initially among the 52 post-election de-Baathifications, and the hypothesis must be that he has been reinstated by the appeals court.
– Abdallah al-Jibburi and Najm al-Harbi of Iraqiyya in Diyala were apparently replaced by others from their lists before the result was sent to the court for certification, all with reference to past convictions (or in the case of Harbi, an arrest warrant).
– The 7 compensation seats have been allocated as per earlier reports to two candidates with Turkmen connections in State of Law, to Humam Hamudi (ISCI) and a Sadrist for INA, to Fuad Masum for the Kurds and to Muhammad Allawi, a relation of Ayyad Allawi for Iraqiyya. Iraqiyya has yet to fill the latest compensation seat after Karbuli was disqualified.
-If excluded, Furat al-Sharaa of ISCI in Basra is likely to be replaced by Ahmad al-Khafaji of Badr, who got around 12,000 personal votes.
– IHEC has said the two latest potential disqualifications, if implemented, will lead to replacements by their own lists. This is good as far as democratic theory is concerned, but it creates a major inconsistency in the result in that 52 of the post-election exclusions reportedly resulted in votes being annulled (though no seats changed, but that was simply due to the low number of personal votes involved), whereas the rest of the post-election disqualifications did not prompt a recalculation of the electoral divider. It is noteworthy that the exclusion of Sharaa from INA had been sought by the other major Shiite-led bloc, the State of Law alliance (SLA) with which it is supposedly on its way to a merger. The fact that Sharaa of INA was in fact disqualified is an interesting testament to persistent friction between INA and SLA. It is noteworthy too that if implemented on the pattern of the 52 other exclusions (as per the SLA request), the Basra result would have changed and because of the electoral divider SLA would have won a seat and Iraqiyya (rather than INA) could have lost one.
– In the election law there is a demand that all candidate requirements (not being subject to de-Baathification, not being a member of the armed forces etc.) be treated equally. Also there is no mention of post-election disqualification leading to annulment of votes. Both these principles have been sinned against in a politicised way during the process of certifying the result and the suggestion heard by UNAMI and the US government that the elections have been done in accordance with the adopted procedures seems to rest on a shaky basis.
– In an apparent attempt by the federal supreme court to rectify some of this, Ibrahim al-Mutlak of Iraqiyya, who had been excluded in the revised list of winners that emerged after the Baghdad recount, has been reinstated and his replacement loses his seat. This looks like a positive move and would go some way towards repairing the damage, even if only a restoration of all the votes of the 52 excluded candidates would create some consistency in the result and put a decisive end to the machinations of the de-Baathification committee (which invented the idea of penalising entities rather than candidates).
The presidency council now has to call parliament to convene within 15 days.
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