Turkey hails Iraq’s Saturday parliamentary polls

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By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun

ANKARA

Turkey on Sunday wished the Iraqi people well after their parliamentary elections the previous day.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said that despite terrorist attacks and claims of irregularities, the voting went successfully.

“We hope the election results will bring the best to the brotherly people of Iraq, who have suffered from great pain and distress for many years,” the ministry said.

The ministry also highlighted that it is important that Iraqi electoral authorities investigate any claims of electoral wrongdoing.

“It is important that allegations of irregularities be investigated by Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission to establish the legitimacy of the election results,” it said.

The ministry highlighted that Turkey places great importance on preserving Iraq’s political unity and territorial integrity.

“Turkey believes that forming a government that embraces all sectors of the Iraqi public is essential to successfully overcoming the formidable challenges ahead, such as fighting terrorism, reconstruction, and social reconciliation. It will also have positive implications on the security and stability of our region,” the ministry said.

On Saturday, Iraqis voted in the country’s first parliamentary election since Iraq declared victory against the Daesh terrorist group.

According to the Iraqi election commission, around 10.8 million Iraqis out of 24 million eligible voters took part in the parliamentary elections, with a turnout of 44.52 percent.

The polls were held under the shadow of economic crisis, the return of thousands of refugees, political polarization, and security concerns.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Sunday ordered Iraqi forces to enforce security in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region, following violent protests in the wake of the polls.

In a statement from his office, al-Abadi said he ordered security forces in Kirkuk and Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)-held areas “to maintain neutrality in dealing with polls.”

He called on Iraq’s election commission to “take quick measure to check the ballot boxes and the protested electronic devices and announce the results to the public to maintain the integrity of the elections”.

Thousands of Turkmens and Arabs demonstrated in Kirkuk and the KRG region on Saturday amid alleged violations during voting in areas.

Gunmen also attacked the headquarters of the Gorran Movement in Sulaimaniyah, after it claimed that the electronic voting system had been hacked.






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