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

Al-Moussawi: That’s true. [Iraq’s Supreme Court] overturned a paragraph of the law related to how vacant seats were allocated and the law was re-submitted to Parliament for endorsement. For the time being, this article doesn’t affect our work though. But the nearer the elections get, the more it will.

That’s why IHEC is calling on the Iraqi Parliament to speed up the process and pass this law, so that elections can be held on time.

NIQASH: Has the budget for elections been approved?

Al-Moussawi: Every electoral process requires a budget. After a lengthy study, IHEC concluded that we need around US$150 million to run this election. The Iraqi government say they will pay this amount in instalments, when we ask for them.

When the new IHEC was formed, the government paid US$10 million dollars and just a few days ago, another US$25 million was transferred to IHEC. This process will continue – so we don’t have any financial problems with our work at all.

NIQASH: How many political entities are going to participate in the elections?

Al-Moussawi: There will be 243 political entities participating in the upcoming provincial elections. Among these are 16 independents. The rest are political parties or blocs from right around the country.

Some of these are participating in Iraqi elections for the first time.

From Nov. 5 until Nov. 25 anyone who wanted to take part could register. And we will start the process of registering the various constituents of the political blocs soon – that is, those who want to be part of one list.

There are 447 seats on provincial councils from all around Iraq. Each province is allocated a number of seats depending on the size of its population. For example, there are 58 seats in Baghdad because it has a population of around seven million. In Karbala there are only 27 seats because it has a population of about two million.

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