Iraq supreme court ratifies election results
Politicians have three months to form government
Iraq's supreme court on Sunday approved the final results of May's general election, giving winning political parties a three month deadline to form a new government.
The nation's fledgling democracy has been paralysed since the vote, which was quickly followed by complaints of fraud and vote rigging.
Irregularities led to a nationwide recount that showed little difference from the initial tally.
"The court has issued a decision to ratify the results of the parliamentary election," a court spokesman said in a statement confirming approval of the results.
Populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr's victory still stands. His Sairoon (Marching Forward) bloc kept all of its 54 seats. Consequently, he is in a strong position to form Iraq's next government but will need coalition partners to garner an overall majority in the 329-member parliament.
In June, MPs ordered a manual recount after concerns were raised about the voting system, which relied on machines to read ballots digitally linked to each voter's ID registration card and fingerprint.
Various lawmakers and voters complained of machines breaking down and alleged wide-scale fraud in the initial election results, which triggered protests calling for the recount. Yet, the results remained the same in the contested cities of the country's 18 provinces.
Iraq has had three parliaments with four-year terms since dictator Saddam Hussein was toppled in the 2003 US-led invasion.
Updated: August 19, 2018 03:25 PM