KRG and IHEC call for more in­ter­na­tional ob­servers and as­sis­tance in forth­com­ing elec­tions

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

The In­de­pen­dent High Com­mis­sion for Elec­tions (IHEC) in Iraq set out guide­lines for in­ter­na­tional ob­servers at the elec­tions to the Iraqi par­lia­ment and the provin­cial coun­cils of Er­bil, Sle­mani and Duhok, sched­uled to take place on April 30.

At a con­fer­ence in Er­bil on April 19, IHEC set out the guide­lines for in­ter­na­tional ob­servers in both elec­tions as well as the code of con­duct for can­di­dates, IHEC em­ploy­ees and in­ter­na­tional ob­servers.

Speak­ing at the event on be­half of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment, Min­is­ter Falah Mustafa said, ‘I am pleased to be here to con­vey the KRG’s com­mit­ment to democ­racy and to fur­ther con­sol­i­date the prin­ci­ples of democ­racy that we have started in the re­gion. These elec­tions are very im­por­tant for the fu­ture of Iraq as a whole and we hope to have as many in­ter­na­tional ob­servers as pos­si­ble for these up­com­ing elec­tions to en­sure they are free and fair.’

In ad­di­tion to Min­is­ter Mustafa, who heads the Depart­ment of For­eign Re­la­tions, the con­fer­ence was at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Min­istry of In­te­rior, mem­bers from the diplo­matic corps, NGOs and var­i­ous me­dia out­lets.

The Chair­man of IHEC, Serbest Mustafa, called on the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to as­sist in en­sur­ing the elec­tions are trans­par­ent, free and fair. He said that IHEC was de­ter­mined to hold the elec­tions on time and that it had pro­vided elec­tronic voter cards, a first in Iraq, to pre­vent fraud.

Ac­cord­ing to IHEC, there will be 7,964 polling sta­tions across Iraq in ad­di­tion to sta­tions des­ig­nated for those people who will par­tic­i­pate in spe­cial voting, such as mem­bers of the se­cu­rity forces. There will be over­seas polling sta­tions in19 other coun­tries.

The IHEC chair­man said that so far 1,249 in­ter­na­tional ob­servers and 278 in­ter­na­tional jour­nal­ists had reg­is­tered to mon­i­tor both the provin­cial and par­lia­men­tary elec­tions. This is in ad­di­tion to 1,325 lo­cal jour­nal­ists.

A to­tal of 9,031 can­di­dates are com­pet­ing for 328 seats in the Iraqi par­lia­ment.

There are 276 po­lit­i­cal en­ti­ties reg­is­tered to par­tic­i­pate in the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions. Some of these have al­ready formed coali­tions so there are 107 elec­toral lists, 39 of which will be coali­tions and 68 will be in­de­pen­dent en­ti­ties.

The elec­tions to the provin­cial coun­cils of Er­bil, Sle­mani and Duhok will take place on the same day as the Iraqi par­lia­men­tary elec­tions af­ter be­ing de­layed by a year. Once the coun­cils are elected, the coun­cil mem­bers will se­lect a gover­nor and a coun­cil leader from among their num­ber for each prov­ince.

A to­tal of 713 can­di­dates from 18 po­lit­i­cal en­ti­ties - five of them com­pris­ing just one in­di­vid­ual - have been reg­is­tered and ap­proved by IHEC for the provin­cial elec­tions.

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