Iraq asks UN to monitor upcoming elections

Fecha de publicación: 
28 Ene 2021

Past elections in the war-torn country were marred by vote-rigging and corruption allegation

Iraq asked the UN Security Council to monitor the progress of election preparations, as the country gears up to hold a nationwide vote in October, the country's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

Previous elections in the war-torn country were marred with vote-rigging and corruption allegations and reports of irregularities in several provinces and cities.

“The Foreign Minister, Fuad Hussein, requested during a meeting with delegates from the EU mission to Iraq, for international organisations and the UN to support its electoral process and invited international observers to monitor the vote,” Iraq’s foreign ministry said.

It said the ministry sent a message to the president of the Security Council requesting electoral oversight.

The Iraqi minister stressed that the government is willing to proceed with early elections, which are one of the Cabinet’s main objectives.

“The government will provide all the necessary requirements to ensure they are conducted in a safe and fair environment,” the ministry said.

During the meeting, Martin Huth, the EU ambassador to Iraq, told Mr Hussein that six members of the electoral observation mission will be sent from Brussels to Baghdad on Saturday to offer support.

Mr Huth asserted the EU’s stance for supporting Iraqi election while allocating a certain amount of money for the process.

Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi set a general election date for June 6, about a year ahead of when it would normally be held, but Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission suggested it be delayed to October to allow more time to prepare.

Parliament voted last week on the proposed date and decided to postpone it until October 10.

Last year, the UN praised Mr Al Kadhimi’s decision to hold the early ballot saying it would promote “greater stability and democracy” in Iraq.

Mr Al Kadhimi was selected by parliament in May to head a government that would guide the country towards early elections. His predecessor, Adel Abdul Mahdi, quit under pressure from protests in late 2019.

Early elections are a key demand of anti-government protesters who staged mass demonstrations that started in October 2019. Hundreds were killed by security forces and gunmen suspected of links to militia groups.

Mina Aldroubi