Iraq’s outgoing parliament speaker Salim al-Jabouri said on Sunday that a May 12 parliamentary election should be repeated after a storage site housing ballot boxes in Baghdad caught on fire earlier in the day.
The ballot boxes are part of a manual recount of votes from the May parliamentary election, mandated in a law passed on Wednesday.
“The crime of burning ballot box storage warehouses in the Rusafa area is a deliberate act, a planned crime, aimed at hiding instances of fraud and manipulation of votes, lying to the Iraqi people and changing their will and choices,” Jabouri said in a statement.
“We call for the election to be repeated,” added Jabouri, who lost his seat in the election. He called for those responsible to be brought to justice by the security forces.
Authorities did not say whether they believe the fire was an accident or had been set, but its timing heightened tensions over the election.