June 28, 2018 / 11:00 AM / 20 days ago

Iraqi parliament's term will expire Saturday without extension-speaker

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The Iraqi parliament’s term will end on Saturday unless lawmakers vote to extend it until after a recount of votes from a May election is complete, Speaker Salim al-Jabouri said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jabouri shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq May 12, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

In a news conference on Thursday, Jabouri, who failed to retain his seat in the May vote, said that a manual recount would begin next week.

There was no immediate comment on the timing of the recount from the panel of judges tasked with conducting the process.

The parliamentary election has been marred by historically low turnout and fraud allegations.

The outgoing parliament this month passed a law mandating a nationwide manual recount of votes, but the panel of judges said it would only be conducted for problematic ballots flagged in official reports or in formal complaints.

The move is likely to speed up the ratification of final results and the formation of a new government.

“The leaders of most of the political blocs in Parliament made it clear today that they will not support a bill extending parliament’s term or forcing a complete — rather than partial — recount of ballots,” said Sunni lawmaker Faris al-Faris.

Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; writing by Raya Jalabi; editing by Jon Boyle and Toby Chopra

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