Key dates in Iraq since May’s national elections

After three weeks of protest in Iraq, the Minister of Electricity Qassem al-Fahdawi was sacked.
Tuesday 31/07/2018
Iraqis protest over poor public services in the city of Najaf, on July 27. (Reuters)
Iraqis protest over poor public services in the city of Najaf, on July 27. (Reuters)

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)