Accessibility links

Breaking News

Fire Hits Ballot-Box Storage Site In Baghdad

Iraqi security forces secure the site of a fire that broke out at Baghdad's largest ballot box storage site, where ballots from Iraq's May parliamentary elections are stored, in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, June 10, 2018. The ballots are part of a manual recoun

Iraq's biggest ballot-paper warehouse that was being used to store votes ahead of a recount has caught fire.

It is not clear what caused the June 10 blaze in the building where votes for an eastern district of the capital, Baghdad, were being held.

The site housed ballot boxes of the Al-Rusafa district, where around 60 percent of Baghdad's 2 million eligible voters had cast their ballots in last month’s parliamentary elections.

An Interior ministry spokesman said that “most of the ballot boxes...have been preserved."

However, a Baghdad Province council member said that “all the boxes and papers have burned."

The outgoing parliament speaker, Salim al-Jabouri, said the election should be repeated as a result of the fire, which he described as "a deliberate act, a planned crime, aimed at hiding instances of fraud and manipulation of votes."

Jabouri lost his seat in the May 12 legislative elections, which were won by an alliance headed by Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Amid allegations of widespread fraud, Iraq's parliament on June 6 ordered a manual recount of some 10 million votes cast in the May 12 polls.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters