The Electoral Commission in Iraq continues the manual counting of votes for legislative elections in the governorates that have been challenged for the eighth day in a row.

For his part, the supreme Shiite authority in Iraq, Ali al-Sistani, has distanced himself from any discussions taking place on forming alliances to form the next government.

The commission said that today, Wednesday, it began counting and sorting the special funds in Basra Governorate (south of the country), explaining that the process is taking place in the presence of representatives of the contesting candidates, international observers and authorized media personnel.

After completing the recounting and sorting, the result will be submitted to the Board of Commissioners to take the appropriate recommendation in light of the procedures followed.

Yesterday, Tuesday, the Electoral Commission completed the manual counting of the contested stations in the governorates of Dhi Qar (south) and Salah al-Din (north).

The Director of Media and Mass Communication at the Electoral Commission, Hassan Salman, told the Iraqi News Agency (INA) that "there is a possibility that the manual counting and sorting of all contested stations will be completed by the end of this week."

He added that "the manual counting and sorting process, even if it extends to the next week, is considered the end of the period for submitting appeals," explaining that "there is a later period that includes consideration of the recommendations of the Board of Commissioners by the electoral judiciary, which extends to 10 days."

The Independent High Electoral Commission confirmed on Tuesday that most of the appeals against the election results were without evidence.

He stated that the Commission opened the door for appeals again to provide evidence, as it referred and recommended the appeals in the elections, and he who has new evidence about the submitted appeals could have submitted them within 3 days and it ended today, Wednesday, because most of those who submitted appeals were without evidence.

Demonstration and sit-in

Yesterday, Tuesday, a demonstration took place in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, for supporters of the parties opposing the results of the parliamentary elections in front of one of the entrances to the Green Zone, where government headquarters, diplomatic bodies and embassies are located.

The demonstrators raised banners rejecting what they called "rigging the election results", and demanded that they be corrected, and threatened to escalate if work was not done to manually recount and sort all the boxes.

For the 15th consecutive day, the sit-ins of the supporters of the parties objecting to the results of the legislative elections continue in front of one of the entrances to the Green Zone in the center of the capital, Baghdad, to demand the re-counting and sorting manually or cancel the results and re-conduct them.

Al-Sistani announced that he is not a party to any discussions about forming alliances to form the next government (Reuters)

Sistani distances himself

Yesterday evening, Tuesday, Iraq's top Shiite authority, Ali al-Sistani, announced that he was not a party to any discussions about forming alliances to form the next government.

Sistani's media office said, in a statement, that "the Marjaiya is not a party to any meetings, discussions, contacts or consultations regarding concluding political alliances and forming the next government."

He continued, "There is absolutely no basis for any of the news that is promoted otherwise by some parties and entities in the media and social networking sites."

On the tenth of last October, Iraq witnessed early parliamentary elections, the initial results of which were topped by the "Sadr bloc", led by Muqtada al-Sadr, with 73 seats out of 329.

While the "Progress" bloc, led by dissolved Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi, won 38 seats, followed by the "State of Law" bloc, led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, with 34 seats.

The preliminary results are facing wide objections from influential forces and factions after losing many of their seats. The objectors say that the results are "fabricated" and "forged", and demand that all votes be recounted manually.

However, the Electoral Commission said that the manual counting includes only the committees whose votes are contested, if the complaints are substantiated.