President Salih: October election is critically important as it will be held after protestors took to streets, a broad national consensus has been reached to make sweeping reforms, high standard of transparency and integrity in election should be pr


On Wednesday, 8 September 2021, the President of the Republic of Iraq, Barham Salih met the Head and the Members of Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq, and UNAMI Chief, Ms. Jeanine Hennis- Plasschaert. The meeting took place at al-Salam Palace in Baghdad.
Emphasis was placed on discussion of the elections in Iraq, and participants also spoke about how important the next federal election would be for Iraq.
 President Salih stressed that the country next election is critical importance as it will be held after hundreds of thousands of Iraqis- from all walks of life- took to the streets, and gave their voice to their great hopes for better future, after a broad national consensus has been reached to hold an early election in order to adjust political track and make sweeping reforms. He added that the upcoming election is a large amount of entitlement for the Iraqi and it will have impacts on the region as a whole.
Soon, it will be revealed the code of conducts for the Iraqi political forces, and it will be overarching frameworks for electoral code of conduct based on respecting Iraqi constitution, the legal regulations and recognizing that the elections is a decisive factor, the President said, while noting the important role of the judicial power to follow up, oversight the implementation of constitution and the law and the fraud or other irregularities that could play a role in the outcome of the elections.
Furthermore, he spoke about the need to restore voter confidence in local ballots and to motivate higher voter turnout after political and electoral processes being questionable due to the irregularities in the previous elections. Ensuring large turnout in the elections should be our top priority, it is therefore election must be the genuine peaceful path to make the change, undertake the reforms and remedy the situation for having a decent life meeting Iraqis' demands.
Moreover, His Excellency President Salih commended efforts made by the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq (IHEC) for the organization of elections and for its responding to some of the questions regarding the local ballot, and UN team's efforts and its cooperation with the IHEC have also been appreciated. The next phase is critically important so its challenges and its concerns should be tackled, he said.
Meanwhile, doubt that has been raised about the transparency of the previous elections makes more sense of the country's next elections and gives greater importance, he highlighted.
It is vital to ensure that the election must be free and fair that guarantees Iraqi voters rights to choose political representation without fear of fraud or manipulation, and it is a national task that can't be ignored or neglected, he added.
Additionally, Political powers and social actors have responsibility to motivate higher voter turnout and to give the sense that the upcoming elections is different from the previous, President Salih underscored, while this will ensure that voters' confidence in local ballots will be restored.
 He said that the concepts of the democratic fair dealing must be taken as fundamental by all. Election should be an approach that resolves the lingering issues and meets the national entitlements rather than to be a matter of disagreement, he added.
During the meeting, the preparation for conducting the elections and electoral timelines were briefed by the members of the IHEC.
 Meeting participants agreed optimal conditions for upcoming elections must be ensured, and the election must be free and fair, and it must be ensured that the elections are held as scheduled. There should be the code of conduct, legal and regulatory provisions and national charter among Iraqi political forces, they said.
Those in attendance agreed on the need to enhance the UN's role in supporting the entire electoral process and in monitoring and overseeing the elections, thereby guaranteeing Iraq's sovereignty and respecting the Iraqis' independent decision.