Key dates in Iraq since May’s national elections
May 12: Iraq has parliamentary elections, turnout is 44%.
May 14: Partial election returns indicate Muqtada al-Sadr’s political alliance leads in six provinces, including Baghdad.
May 16: Hundreds of demonstrators gather in Kirkuk to protest alleged election fraud.
May 17: United Nations calls for Iraq’s electoral commission to “immediately and fully” investigate complaints regarding conduct of the elections.
May 19: Final results from Iraq’s election confirms al-Sadr’s win.
May 25: Iraqi authorities begin inquiry into elections after intelligence services found that the voting machines used were vulnerable to hacking.
June 6: Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the elections were marred by “unprecedented” violations, according to the findings of a commission Abadi set up to investigate alleged irregularities.
June 6: Iraq’s parliament votes in favour of a manual ballot recount over allegations of widespread fraud in parliamentary elections.
June 7: At least 18 people were killed in Sadr City in an explosion the Interior Ministry said was the result of the detonation of an ammunition cache.
June 10: Fire rips through Iraq’s biggest ballot warehouse in eastern Baghdad.
June 21: Iraq’s Supreme Court upholds parliament’s decision ordering a hand recount of the ballots.
June 24: Judicial panel tasked with running the elections commission says it would conduct a manual recount of the vote from the parliamentary election only for those ballots mentioned in official reports on fraud or formal complaints.
June 30: Iraq’s parliament has its final session, leaving the country without a national assembly for the first time since 2003 as it awaited a vote recount from the parliamentary polls.
July 1: An explosion targets a warehouse storing ballot boxes in Kirkuk province, killing one police officer.
July 3: Iraqi authorities begin recounting votes from May’s disputed parliamentary election, starting with the northern province of Kirkuk.
July 8: Protesters take to the streets in Basra demanding jobs and better services; demonstrations spread to other cities in the country’s Shia-majority south.
July 9: Iraq’s election commission expands its manual recount of ballots to include six other provinces.
July 13: Abadi flies to Basra in a bid to restore calm in the city.
July 14: Hundreds of protesters storm the airport in the city of Najaf, briefly halting air traffic.
July 20: Thousands of Iraqis protest in southern cities and Baghdad, calling for the downfall of political parties in the country.
July 29: Abadi sacked his Minister of Electricity Qassem al-Fahdawi after three weeks of protests. A statement from Abadi’s office said the premier sacked Fahdawi — whose departure was demanded by protesters — “because of the deterioration in the electricity sector”.
(The Arab Weekly staff and news agencies)