Baghdad on high alert over election result protests

Security forces deployed around high-security Green Zone.

Iraqi security forces on Friday intensified deployment in areas surrounding Baghdad’s high-security Green Zone to deal with protests of the Oct. 10 election results.

Anti-riot police closed several roads in the capital Baghdad and imposed security restrictions around the zone, a security source in Baghdad’s police told Anadolu Agency.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said more security forces were deployed at entrances to the Green Zone.

On Thursday, a committee for rallies opposing the election results threatened to escalate the situation if the results are not changed.

The committee, which called for a peaceful rally to protest the results, did not specify how they would push an escalation.

The committee was formed last week by groups that rejected the election results, including the Al-Fatah Coalition and the Hashd al-Shaabi group.

The Iraqi election commission said last week it started recounting ballot boxes in 2,000 voting stations based on 1,400 complaints presented to the commission by political parties.

The commission will announce the final results of the recount when it is completed, and send them to the country’s Federal Court (Constitutional Court) for approval.

Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s party won 73 seats in parliament, the highest, followed by the Taqaddum bloc of Parliament Speaker Mohamed Halbousi with 37 and the State of Law Coalition, led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, with 34 seats.

The Iranian-backed Al-Fatah Coalition, which won 17 seats compared to 48 seats in the 2018 elections, has already rejected the vote results.


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