KRG “Committed to Free and Fair Elections”

Minister Falah Mustafa received Mr Sarbast Mustafa, Head of the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq (IHEC), and Mr Sokol Kondi, Head of UNAMI in Erbil today to discuss preparations for the upcoming elections.

Kurdistan Region is due to hold parliamentary and provincial elections this year in September and November respectively.

The meeting comes as part of the continued endeavour by the KRG to coordinate efforts with IHEC, UNAMI and foreign representatives in inviting international observers to monitor the elections and to prepare the ground.

In welcoming the delegation, Minister Mustafa said that the government is committed to holding elections in a transparent manner and on time. He said, “We have began a democratic process, and our aim is to share our experience with the rest of Iraq what can be achieved through democracy, partnership and inclusiveness.”

He added that a clear message has been conveyed to the foreign diplomatic community in Kurdistan calling for their support and to send as many observers as possible.

Speaking about the need to for international observers to participate in the process, Mr Sarbast Mustafa said: “Oversight continues to be one of the most important elements for the commission.” He also said that the commission includes members from the country’s rich diversity.

Mr Sokol Kondi, Head of UNAMI in Erbil, commended the working relationship between UNAMI and IHEC in preparations for the elections. He said, “We appreciate the strong commitment from the KRG to hold elections on time. This is important and we reaffirm our support to you and IHEC.”

The officials also touched on the ongoing discussions in organising coordination support teams to monitor the elections. Mr Kondi said that several countries have already committed to sending between one to four teams, including from USA, UK, Italy, Germany, NL, Turkey and possible from the Russian Federation.

The meeting was attended by Ms Gulshan Kamal, Director of IHEC Public Relations; Ms Tara, Head of IHEC Observers Coordination Committee; Mr Geoffrey Alan, UNAMI Political Advisor. The officials from DFR included Ms Siham Jabali, Assistant Head of DFR; Dr Saman Sorani, Advisor, as well as other Directors.

(Source: UNAMI)

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