Iraq's High Electoral Commission has issued the provisional results of the Iraqi parliamentary elections held on March 7th. It was an election in which dozens of parties and coalitions fielded thousands of parliamentary candidates, men and women. Ballots were cast at some 50,000 voting booths. And in a strong turnout, millions of Iraqis exercised their right to vote.
The U.S. congratulates the Iraqi people, the Iraqi government, candidates and coalitions and Iraq's High Electoral Commission for carrying out a first and vital step in successful elections and government formation. The country's electoral commission has investigated and adjudicated a number of complaints and will continue to do so according to established mechanisms and procedures.
International observers and the more than 200,000 domestic observers expressed their confidence in the overall integrity of the election and have found no evidence of widespread or serious fraud. The United Nations played a critical role in supporting this historic election.
The United States urges all political entities to pursue any complaints or appeals through established legal mechanisms and processes. When these have been resolved, Iraq's Federal Supreme Court will certify the results. Iraq will then move to seat a new Council of Representatives, choose a president, and form a new government.
These steps are likely to take months. The U.S. calls on all candidates and all parties to accept the results, respect the will of the Iraqi people, and work together cooperatively to form a new government in a timely manner. It will be critical for all sides to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric and intimidation. It is also important that the caretaker Iraqi government continue to provide security and other essential services for its citizens during this period leading to the formation of a government.
In the weeks and months ahead, said President Barack Obama, "the United States will continue to work closely with the Iraqi people as we expand our broad-based partnership based on mutual interest and mutual respect."