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EU delegation says Iraq's 2018 Parl't elections 'lacked transparency'

The delegation of elections experts sent by the European Union to Iraq has sent a "secret" report to Iraq's top officials, mentioning a number of "negative" points in the latest parliamentary elections in 2018.

The report was sent to the Iraqi foreign ministry, which then sent it to the president, parliament speaker, prime minister and the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC).

The foreign ministry commented on the report, saying "it is expected to be leaked to media," recommending that the IHEC prepare a suitable response to the negative observations in the report.

The EU delegation's remarks came as follows:
1-The absence of transparency, not independently checking and revising the information technology system used, and the change of legislations during the election process.
2-Intimidating and attempting to influence competitors and the electorate, especially in the disputed border areas in Kirkuk, Nineveh and the Kurdistan Region.
3-The legal framework of the 2018 [parliamentary] elections included many rulings that do not comply with international pledges and global standards on democratic elections.
4-In an unprecedented step, the parliament approved an amendment of the election law after announcing the preliminary results, which were still ongoing, making important changes as a result.
5-The [delegations] did not recognize that the IHEC had made any efforts to facilitate and enable the electorate to receive election cards, which consequently deprived over 20 percent of the registered electorate from their right to vote.
6-The right of confidential vote has not been protected as much as required.
7-Most of the speakers on al-Iraqiya TV network that is owned by the state were clearly biased to [then] Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.
8-Despite assumptions that they are independent, the commissioners in the IHEC are candidates for principal political blocs.
9-Inaction of the IHEC and its failure in carrying out independent checks and revisions of the electronic systems used.
10-Observers and political entities' deputies were not offered the "freedom to reach" to the extent required and sufficient.
11-Procedures of counting and sorting in an organized and routine form were not followed.

Before counting the negative observations, the EU delegation said that the report reflects the point of view of the delegation on the recent elections, and that it is not meant to be published.

The report added that it aims at making progress at the electoral system in Iraq.

Last Modified: Thursday، 21 February 2019 10:26 PM