The last time ballots were cast for parliament in 2018 there were charges throughout the process. For instance in March the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights claimed political parties had bought voting cards to cheat. After the election there were accusations of cheating in Sulaymaniya, Anbar, and Kirkuk. The Election Commission later dismissed 103 polling stations in Anbar, Baghdad, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salahaddin over irregularities. A parliamentary committee found clear evidence of fraud. In the end, these issues were resolved through a deal between the ruling parties so that a new government could be formed. Similar situations occurred after previous elections.
It’s for those reasons that MP Shammari’s claims are believable and that there will be a new round of trickery unleashed in 2021. Just as likely is that nothing will come from the charges of cheating because the political lists are more interesting in holding onto power than having free and fair elections. The historically low voter turnout in the last balloting and the protest movement both show that the public has become deeply cynical about the political process and expect these types of moves by the elite.
Aldroubi, Mina, “Iraq’s north faces instability after polls close,” The National, 5/13/18
Ali, Sangar, “Kurdish parties call for manual recount in Sulaimani over allegations of voter fraud,” Kurdistan 24, 5/13/18
Associated Press, “Armed men trap Iraqi election workers in Kirkuk, block count,” 5/16/18
Baghdad Post, “Electoral violations monitored in Anbar and Saladin,” 3/22/18
Ebraheem, Mohammed, “Iraqi parliament says there is strong evidence of vote-rigging in legislative elections,” Iraqi News, 6/4/18
Al Maalomah, “Anbar official reveals Solution List falsification of election results and purchase of voter cards,” 5/13/18
- “Deputy reveals an agreement between the heads of blocs and the president to cover up fraud in the elections,” 7/23/18
New Sabah, “Political blocs trying to obstruct the election law .. It does not serve their interests in its current form,” 9/30/20
Rudaw, “Kirkuk Arabs and Turkmen protest election fraud,” 5/24/18
Saadoun, Mustafa, “Many Iraqi legislators call for canceling election results,” Al Monitor, 5/23/18