Iraqi Presidencies Underscores that Necessary Action that Ensures Fair and Free Election, and Motivates Higher Voter Turnout, Must Be Taken


On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, President of the Republic of Iraq, Barham Salih, held a meeting at the Baghdad Palace. The meeting was attended by the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Speaker of the Parliament Mohammed al-Halbouosi, the Head of the Supreme Judicial Council, Chief Justice Faiq Zidan, Iraqi Foreign Minister, Fouad Hussein, members and the Head of IHEC and UN Special Representative, Ms. Jeanine Hennis- Plasschaert. They discussed the next federal elections.
All the meeting participants agreed it was critical important to take all the necessary action that will help conduct an early election, and to these ends, we have to create the optimal conditions for securing elections that will bring more credibility to elections' results. This means that elections would reflect the Iraqis' will to choose their representatives without fear of forgery, manipulation and the exertion of pressure on voters, they said. The election outcome will be in line with the popular will of the Iraqi people and full faith in choosing their representatives in the government and Iraqi parliament, they added.
The importance of increasing biometric voter registration was emphasized. We have to work to develop mechanisms that help to use a card with a digital chip containing voters’ personal information in the next elections, they stated. The legislation on the Federal Court Act must be completed as soon as possible, they agreed, while highlighting that all the state agencies and state facilities have to support the IHEC. Both human and financial resources must be provided to ensure better organization for country federal elections, all agreed and emphasized.
The meeting placed emphasis on the need to take firm actions to ensure that the election was free and fair and that there was no fraud or manipulation, and also to ensure that all the stages of the ballot process was held in line with international standards, which is going to start from the cast of ballots, collecting and counting the votes, and until outcome of the election be announced. All the stages of elections must be prevailed by an atmosphere of fairness and transparency, Participants in the meeting said, while agreeing that it was equally important that Independent High Electoral Commission(IHEC) be supported by the United Nations in monitoring and oversight to ensure that the Iraqi election was held in line with international standards.
Attendees at the meeting also stressed that there is a need to inform Iraqis about the electoral procedure, to restore voter confidence in local ballots and to motivate higher voter turnout. Internally displaced persons and Iraqis abroad should also be assured that they are able to cast ballots, so to do this, legal and administrative procedures should be provided, they added.