By Idris Okuducu
ERBIL, Iraq (AA) - An Iraqi Turkmen politician said Wednesday that last week’s parliamentary poll had been rigged and requested a manual recount.
Marouf Aydin, an Erbil-based parliamentarian for the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF), complained of voting “irregularities” in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region -- and in Kirkuk -- during Saturday’s general election.
Voicing his “total rejection” of the poll results, Marouf said that the ITF had appealed to Iraq’s official electoral commission for a manual recount.
“The preliminary [poll] results do not reflect the true will of the Turkmen,” he asserted. “We will take any legal steps necessary to safeguard our rights.”
According to preliminary poll results, the ITF clinched about 75,000 votes in Kirkuk and 2,500 in Erbil.
Last Saturday, Iraqis voted in the country's first parliamentary poll since 2014.
In a related development, Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdish Regional Government, said Tuesday that he would raise the issue with electoral officials in Baghdad.
“We fully understand the concerns of certain political parties regarding the preliminary poll results in the Kurdish region and Kirkuk,” he said.
“The Independent High Electoral Commission must take the necessary steps to clear the air,” Barzani added.
According to the electoral commission, almost 11 million Iraqis -- out of 24 million eligible voters -- took part in Saturday’s vote, representing a turnout of almost 45 percent.
In the run-up to the election last week, Turkmen and Arab residents of Kirkuk had cried foul amid reports of malfunctioning electronic voting machines, which were used for the first time in Iraqi elections.