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

Al-Moussawi: The city of Kirkuk has a special status according to the election law. This isn’t actually anything new, it was the same during previous elections too.

However there’s been an increase in political voices demanding that elections be held there and we have received a letter from Parliament saying it will issue a special election law for Kirkuk. However that law has yet to be passed – until it is, the situation remains the same: no elections in Kirkuk.

NIQASH: Before every election, there’s always a debate on which candidates are covered by the Accountability and Justice Law, which basically says that former members of Saddam Hussein’s political party, the Baath Party, can’t stand for election. So will that law be applied during these elections too?

Al-Moussawi: For sure. That’s a legal issue that IHEC cannot overlook. Part of the conditions for candidacy are that the Accountability and Justice Commission [the body charged with vetting officials and politicians who were suspected of having current or past links with the Baath party] doesn’t object to you standing for office.

We are coordinating with the Accountability and Justice Commission and we’ll send a list of candidates names to them; they will then notify us if there is a problem.

NIQASH: Will these elections involve international observers?

Al-Moussawi: Absolutely. Two days ago, IHEC started receiving applications from international organizations who wish to register as observers. Internationally, organisations like the United Nations, the European Union and a number of Arab organizations will have a strong presence and will comment on elections.

We’re also registering local observers. All of this will ensure the integrity of the elections.

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