Over 1457 international observers to monitor Iraq’s elections
For the upcoming of the Iraqi parliamentary elections and provincial elections in Kurdistan Region which are scheduled to be held on 30 April, thousands of local and international observers have been recorded to monitor the events. The aim of this great number of the observers signifies the importance of this year’s elections compared to previous ones as Iraq is going through a touchy political and administrative process.
"1457 international observers would monitor the coming Iraqi parliamentary elections and the provincial elections in Kurdistan Region," said Sarbast Mustafa, head of The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC)
According to Mustafa, the number of observers has in- creased dramatically compared to the previous elections.
IHEC is a professional, governmental, independent and neutral body supervised by the Iraqi Council of Representatives. It is exclusively responsible for organizing, implementing and supervising all kinds of elections and referenda.
Mustafa also said that the process of international observers' accreditation is of great importance this time because the IHEC realizes the importance and the great role played by them to verify and endorse a free and fair electoral process.
Campaigning officially kicked off on 1 April for both elections. The parliamentary elections will decide the 328 members of the Council of Representatives who will in turn elect the Iraqi President and the Prime Minister.
The IHEC spokesperson, Safa al Moussawi declared on 9 April that the IHEC has fined 14 political entities participating in the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections due to violating regulations of the election campaigns article no. 7 of 2013.
Al Moussawi stressed that the IHEC is continuing to monitor the irregularities and violations during the period set by the IHEC to start the electoral campaigns of the PES, coalitions, and candidates running for the upcoming elections.
IHEC has finalized the necessary procedures to designate the polling centres and polling stations across Iraq as part of the preparations for the elections. It has opened around 8,075 polling centres and around 48,854 polling stations across the country. The IHEC will open 532 additional special polling centres and 2,557 special polling stations for military and security forces to vote in special polling day on 28 April. The Military and Security Personnel will vote two days prior to the regular polling day.
The IHEC will also open polling centres for patients in the hospitals and prisoners in the jails, the internal displaced persons as well as displaced voters from Anbar province due to the unstable security situation there. The IHEC is mobilizing all its efforts to hold fair, free and credible elections in Iraq.