Iraq invites 52 countries to monitor elections


Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) has sent invitations to embassies of 52 countries to monitor the country’s elections slated to take place on October 10, a poll official told the media.

On Wednesday, Jumana al-Ghalai, spokeswoman of the IHEC, told the al-Sabah newspaper that the Commission’s law allows the recruitment of international observers to monitor the election process to ensure its transparency, reports Xinhua news agency.

October’s elections will decide the 328 members of the Council of Representatives who will in turn elect a new President and Prime Minister.

“The IHEC is currently continuing its preparations for holding the elections on the scheduled date,” the newspaper quoted al-Ghalai as saying.

Meanwhile, Abdul-Hussein al-Hindawi, advisor to rime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, told the newspaper that the UN’s role in the polls is only to monitor the electoral process and not to supervise or run it.

“The Iraqis are the ones who manage the elections in all their stages, and the role of the UN is to monitor and evaluate, not to supervise,” al-Hindawi said.

The invitation by the IHEC came to ensure the integrity of the elections in accordance with international standards to restore the citizens’ confidence in the electoral process, as many Iraqis believe the 2018 parliamentary elections were marred by fraud and irregularities.

On January 19, the Iraqi government approved October 10 as the new date for the elections to allow the IHEC more time to complete preparations.

The last parliamentary elections in Iraq were held on May 12, 2018.