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Iraq Parliament Replaces Electoral Commission Officials
By Ibrahim Saleh

Iraq's parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of appointing nine judges to run the country's official electoral commission.

The judges will replace the nine members of the commission's influential Board of Commissioners, the electoral body's highest authority.

The assembly voted in favor of the move amid widespread allegations of fraud in relation to Iraq's hotly-contested May 12 parliamentary poll.

On Tuesday, the government slapped a travel ban on electoral commission officials pending further investigation into fraud allegations.

On May 28, lawmakers called for a manual vote recount. The following day, commission officials warned of "potential civil unrest" if poll results were overturned.

Muqtada al-Sadr, an influential Shia cleric and politician, for his part, has asserted that parliament lacks the authority to overturn election results.

Al-Sadr's Sairoon coalition dominated the May 12 polls, winning 54 parliamentary seats, according to official results. Sairoon was followed by a Hashd al-Shaabi-linked coalition (47 seats) and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's Victory bloc (42 seats).

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