EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrel reiterated European Union’s support to Iraq in the upcoming elections during the meeting with Fuad Hussein (Iraqi foreign minister), according to the EU delegation to Iraq on Monday (21 of June). “Following an invitation from the Iraqi authorities, the EU had decided to deploy an Election Observation Mission (EOM),” Borrel was cited as saying. The EU delegation to Iraq said the European Union “reaffirms its support to Iraqi’s government in its effort to deliver free, fair and inclusive Iraqi-owned and Iraqi-led elections, in full respect of Iraq’s sovereignty.”
“This government or any incoming government will need a high degree of legitimacy from this election, which means it will need to be carried out under international standards,” Hussein as saying.
One day earlier, Hussein met the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Sigrid Kaag in Luxembourg, on the sidelines of his participation in the Foreign Affairs Council meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union countries. Hussein affirmed “Iraq’s keenness to hold the elections on their scheduled date and his aspiration in the member states of the European Union to support monitoring the upcoming elections to ensure the achievement of free and fair elections,”
They noted that “the Iraqi government’s commitment to human rights standards and its endeavor to cooperate with the international community in this field where they made talks in the regard of raising the name of Iraq as it is on the European Commission’s list of countries with a high risk of money laundering and terrorist financing, as the minister promised to study the file, follow it up and coordinate with the European Union countries in this regard.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said his country considers Iraq as “extremely important for the whole region,” urging the leaders in Baghdad to win a democratic mandate.
Iraq is scheduled to hold early parliamentary elections on October 10, which was one of the main demands of anti-government protesters who organized months of mass demonstrations beginning in October 2019. The vote is held every four years, but anti-government protesters demanded early elections.
In May, the U.N. Security Council unanimously renewed UNAMI mandate for a year and authorized U.N. Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert to provide “a strengthened, robust and visible U.N. team, with additional staff, in advance of Iraq’s forthcoming election, to monitor Iraq’s election day with as broad a geographic coverage as possible”,
Earlier this year, Iraq asked the UN Security Council to monitor the progress of election preparations, as the country gears up to hold a nationwide vote in October, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. Previous elections in the war-torn country were marred with vote-rigging and corruption allegations and reports of irregularities in several provinces and cities.
It’s worthy mentioning that more than 5,000 civil society observers and 7,000 observers from political parties’ representatives participated in the IHEC’s process of updating the voter list between January 2 and April 2.