UN 'Thumbs up' Upcoming Iraqi Polls

Published August 26th, 2021 - 07:20 GMT
Iraq's parliamentary elections to be held in October.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (L), visits the mother of assassinated Iraqi activist Ihab Jawad al-Wazni (image), in her home in the central city of Karbala, on June 24, 2021. AFP / Mohammed SAWAF
Highlights
‘The October parliamentary elections clearly have the potential to be different from the elections in 2018,’ she says

The United Nations (UN) has expressed its support for Iraqi authorities in the upcoming parliamentary elections which is set on October 10.

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), told a Security Council briefing that the credibility of the elections will prove essential for Iraq’s future, adding the responsibility for their success rests with the Iraqi stakeholders and authorities. 

“A boycott is not an effective strategy, nor will it solve anything, on the contrary, a vote not cast is in fact a gift to those you may be opposed to, hence it is important for voters and politicians alike to return to the process,” she said.

Hennis-Plasschaert called on all stakeholders to stick to the facts, focus on their own roles and responsibilities, and refrain from using the UN as a scapegoat. “Truth, discipline and courage, are required at this critical juncture,” she said, also urging them to avoid misinformation.

She told Iraqi voters that in a democracy, voices are not only heard through public protests but also, and critically, at the ballot box. “This is your country, your vote, stand up and be counted.”

 

She commended the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission for its dedication and transformation, and said Iraq’s authorities and parties would do well to publicly acknowledge its achievements so far. 

She said that UNAMI is stepping up its strategic communication efforts aimed at informing the Iraqi voters on election preparations and related UN activities, sharing facts and figures, tackling misinformation and managing public expectations.

“The October elections clearly have the potential to be different from the elections in 2018,” she told the Security Council. “Political parties themselves are the ones who can make or break these elections, it is they who must lead by example, collectively.”

She said with 46 days left until Iraqis head to the polls, “Iraq will have our support at every step of the way.”

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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