Iraqi Supreme Court Ratifies May Election Results

Iraq's Supreme Court has ratified the results of general elections in May that were marred by allegations of fraud, its spokesman says.

The court endorsed the results on August 19, spokesman Ayas al-Samuk said in a statement, opening the way for lawmakers to convene to elect a speaker, then a president, and finally a prime minister and cabinet.

Negotiations between Shi’ite politicians are already under way to form a majority bloc that will name the upcoming prime minister.

Iraqis voted on May 12 to choose the make-up of their 329-member parliament.

Despite accusations of widespread violations in some provinces, a manual recount largely upheld the initial results, with Shi'ite leader Moqtada al-Sadr's coalition retaining its lead.

It was followed by an alliance led by pro-Iranian militia chief Hadi al-Amiri and current Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's list.

The political uncertainty has raised tensions amid growing public anger over poor basic services, unemployment, and the slow pace of rebuilding following a devastating war with the Islamic State extremist group.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa