Supporters of Iran-backed militias on Tuesday took to the streets of Baghdad to protest the results of Iraq’s parliamentary elections after the underperformance of their affiliated political parties.
Supporters of the pro-Tehran militias with the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic) gathered near the capital’s Green Zone area, home to government offices and diplomatic missions, expressing their anger and rejection of the preliminary results for the October 10 vote.
“We call for a recounting of the votes or a new vote,” a furious demonstrator told Rudaw’s Mustafa Goran.
Iraqis headed to the polls in an early election last week. The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) released the final preliminary results on Saturday, following a manual count of over 8,000 polling stations after the results handed out unexpected victories and devastating blows to political parties and blocs.
Iran-backed parties, most notably the Fatih Alliance, have emerged as one of the major losers in the parliamentary election, according to preliminary results. The parties earlier issued statements rejecting the results, alleging fraud, and threatening protests.
Youth, men, women, and tribal leaders were present at the protest, carrying the Iraqi flag and posters that say, “No to vote-rigging,” and “Our voices are a trust that you have not preserved.” The protestors have set their tents and are planning to stay in the area for one week.
“The only one that was hurt and lost in this election is the people of Hashd al-Shaabi,” another protestor said, while blaming the blowing losses on the intervention of the United States.
“This is the American plan … forming a government that is free of the Fatih people, forming a government free of mujahideen [fighters],” he added.
The Fatih Alliance, led by Hadi al-Amiri of the Badr Organization and supported by a range of pro-Iran militia groups, secured 15 seats, according to the preliminary results, a far cry from their place as the second-largest bloc in the outgoing parliament.
“The Resistance cannot tolerate malicious projects that seek to integrate or abolish the PMF, which only serve the American occupation,” a group of Iraqi militias supported by Tehran and calling themselves the Iraqi Resistance, said in a statement last week.
The National State Forces Alliance between former prime minister Haider al-Abadi and Shiite cleric Ammar al-Hakim won four seats. The party also rejected the results.
The early election was held in response to October 2019 protests complaining of corruption and ineptitude among the ruling class and political system.
Source » rudaw