New Election Officials: "Lots Of People Question Our Abilities"

NIQASH: You are part of a group of new IHEC members chosen in September. Do you actually have the ability to successfully administer these upcoming elections?

Al-Moussawi: Yes, I know there are a lot of people who question our abilities. But they don’t know the facts. They don’t realize that seven out of ten of the new IHEC members were working for IHEC in the field and that they’ve actually been in charge of things in past elections.

It has given the IHEC a new impetus because the majority of the members have experience in administering elections. Additionally I would like to add that it took many months to form the new IHEC; the process was competitive as we received literally thousands of applications.

NIQASH: Take us through the time frame leading up to the elections next year.

Al-Moussawi: There will be many phases. IHEC has received the applications of those who want to take part in the elections. The applications should be checked and approved and then the electoral rolls will be updated.

Following that we will receive the lists of candidates from the various political parties and we’ll check them too. Before the actual election day – which is currently scheduled for April 20, 2013 – there will be campaigns and these should take a month. That will be followed by a counting of the votes and an announcement of the preliminary results.

After that we will consider any appeals or objections. And when the latter have been decided upon, and the results decided upon, then the final results will be announced and ratified by Iraq’s highest judicial authority.

NIQASH: But the electoral law hasn’t yet been amended by the Iraqi Parliament. Isn’t that going to delay your work, in turn?

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