“This ruling is a very dangerous development. And we will not accept this ruling because it is unnecessary,” al-Hashemi said on Tuesday during a visit to Today's Zaman, emphasizing that international observers and the Iraqi election authorities have already declared that the March 7 election was fair.
The decision on Monday of a three-member court that investigates election-related complaints, made after complaints of fraud by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law Alliance, is likely to further deepen tensions in Iraq, which has been struggling to form a government since the parliamentary election. The cross sectarian al-Iraqiya bloc, which is led by Shiite leader Ayad Allawi and includes influential figures from the Sunni community such as al-Hashemi, won 91 seats, as compared to 89 secured by the Shiite-dominated State of Law Alliance.
The vote count decision, which al-Hashemi said was a “political, not legal, move,” could change the election results in favor of al-Maliki's coalition. Allawi included Sunni candidates in his election list and attracted significant support from the Sunnis. Any perception that Sunnis have been robbed of their votes could have potentially violent repercussions in a country still reeling from years of sectarian violence.
“The United Nations has said the election was up to international standards. Iraq's High Electoral Commission has said there was no significant fraud in the election. Then why was this recount ordered?” al-Hashemi asked. The Sunni leader also warned that the court decision could lead to fraud, since international observers who watched the March 7 polls have already returned to their countries. And whether the results of the recount could be appealed is a mystery, he also complained.