Election results ratified by Iraq's top court, fraud claims also rejected

The results of Iraq's parliament elections were ratified by the country's top court. In October, elections were conducted. The court dismissed charges of irregularities brought by the former paramilitary coalition Hashed al-Shaabi, which is pro-Iran.

After the court's decision, the parliament will convene to pick a president, who will then choose a prime minister. After that, the prime minister will establish a new government. Iraq is striving to rebuild from years of conflict and Islamist bloodshed, but political differences, corruption, and poverty have hampered its progress.

The confirmation comes more than two months after Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, a political maverick and former anti-US militia commander who rejects all foreign meddling, won legislative elections on October 10. Sadr's movement won more than a fifth of the seats in the assembly, 73 out of a total of 329, much outnumbering the Fatah (Conquest) Alliance, the pro-Iran Hashed's political branch, which won 17 seats.

This was a marked decline from the Alliance's 48 seats in the previous session. The result was branded a "fraud" by Hashed leaders. They brought their case to court in December, asking "to have the results nullified" due to "severe irregularities," according to their lawyer at the time of the hearing.

On Monday, Federal Supreme Court Judge Jassem Mohamed Aboud announced the court "rejects the plaintiffs' plea... not to recognise the final results of the election." The judgment is "binding on all authorities," he asserted. The court's communications officer later reported that the panel "had ratified the parliamentary election results."

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