President Barham Salih: Elections' Integrity is of Absolute Necessity, Opportunity for Broad Electoral Participation Must be Given, and be Away from Fraud

2021/03/28

On Sunday, March 28, 2021, the President of the Republic Dr. Barham Salih met with the Head and members of the Independent High Electoral Commission as well as with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Iraq Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the Electoral Assistance team in Iraq (UNAMI), and the Advisor to the Prime Minister for Elections Affairs Hussein Al-Hindawi.

The meeting took place at al-Salam Palace in Baghdad.
At the outset of the meeting, timetables and their operational tasks were reviewed, the necessity of conducting them on schedule were underlined. Obligations and requirements for holding genuine and fair elections as well as intensifying efforts to finalize the biometric registration of voters in order to ensure broad participation were emphasized.

Meeting participants also stressed on the enhancing the role of the United Nations in supporting and monitoring the electoral process thereby to contribute to the success of the elections, guarantee the nation's sovereignty and respect the independent decision of the Iraqis.
The upcoming elections are of significant importance, as they are a pivotal and a national entitlement, the President underlined. 

Securing credible and equitable elections in their various stages is essential. Elections should be held in a way that removes suspicion and misgivings about them. These were the reason for citizens' unwillingness to participate in the last elections, President Salih highlighted. 

There is a dire need to provide a secure and stable environment, and be assured of the integrity of the proceedings applied to conduct the elections. This could only be done by relying on the voters' biometric card in order to give the chance for voters to choose their representatives away from fraud, manipulation and political pressure and to grant equal opportunities to candidates to participate and run for the elections as well, His Excellency added. 

The President noted that these factors are an essential pillar for the success of the elections and therefore be a starting point for the desired reform.
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