Dozens of Sunni Arab and secular Shiite groups threatened Thursday to boycott Iraq’s new legislature if complaints about tainted voting are not reviewed by an international body.
A representative for former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi described the Dec. 15 vote as “fraudulent” and the elected lawmakers “illegitimate.”
A joint statement issued by 35 political groups that competed in last week’s elections said the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, which oversaw the ballot, should be disbanded.
It also said the more than 1,250 complaints about fraud, ballot box stuffing and intimidation should be reviewed by international organizations such as the United Nations.
The groups included the main Sunni Arab coalition — Adnan al-Dulaimi’s Iraqi Accordance Front — and a secular Shiite bloc headed by Allawi.
An aide to former minister Ahmed Chalabi said a member of the National Congress list who attended the meeting did not represent the group but was there as an individual.
“We reject this document and we didn’t sign it,” said Chalabi aide Haider al-Mousawi.
Allawi did not attend the meeting, held in his political headquarters in the heavily fortified Green Zone.
“We hold the IECI responsible for all the violations which took place during the elections and demand that it be dissolved and a suitable alternative to be found,” said the statement read by Ali al-Timimi, the head of the Hilla al-Fayha List, a secular Shiite ticket Babil province south of the capital.
“If this is not achieved, then we will have no choice but to refuse the results and boycott the new parliament.”
More than 100 politicians and representative of various groups participated in the meeting.
Allawi representative Ibrahim al-Janabi took the accusations one step forward and described the Dec. 15 elections in all of Iraq’s 18 provinces as “fraudulent.”
“These elections are fraudulent, they are fraudulent, and the next parliament is illegitimate. We reject all this process,” al-Janabi told a news conference.