© Sabah Arar, AFP | A fire truck arriving at the scene of a blaze at Iraq’s biggest ballot warehouse, where votes for the eastern Baghdad district were stored, in the centre of the capital Baghdad on June 10.
Latest update : 10/06/2018
Article text by FRANCE 24
A storage site in Baghdad housing ballot boxes from Iraq’s May parliamentary election has caught fire and first responders are attempting to control it, a local official and the interior ministry said on Sunday.
The ballot boxes are part of a manual recount of votes from the May election, mandated in a law passed by the Iraqi parliament on Wednesday, a day after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who’s bloc came third in the election, said there had been serious violations and that most of the blame lay with the elections commission.
“The storage spaces housing all the ballot boxes from al-Rusafa belonging to the election commission are now on fire,” said Baghdad province council member Mohamed al-Rabeei. “Civil defence forces are on the way but I can tell you all the boxes and papers have burned.”
Rusafa is a district of Baghdad on the eastern side of the river Tigris. An interior ministry spokesman said the fire had destroyed some documents and equipment but civil defence forces were trying to prevent it from spreading to ballot boxes.
The recount could undermine nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a long-time adversary of the United States who also opposes Iran’s sway in Iraq and who’s bloc won the largest amount of seats in the election. One of Sadr’s top aides expressed concerns that some parties were trying to sabotage the cleric’s victory.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)