Demand for Reform reaches Electoral Commission

The commission is determined to carry on with its work, including organizing upcoming elections. At a July 20 news conference, the electoral commission chair, Sarbast Mustafa, said, “The political parties’ registration law gives the commission the right to monitor the parties.” He added, “The Political Parties’ Affairs Department will be working on registering and monitoring the parties as well as their funding methods.” He also said, “There are 45 requests to establish 13 new parties.”

The issue driving the electoral commission's composition is whether it is fair that the commission consists of people nominated by the blocs that won the previous elections, given that the commission oversees future electoral campaigns, organizes elections and accepts or rejects candidates and lists. This subjects lists and entities not in the parliament to the supervision and authority of those entities already in the legislature, as they actually control the commission.

If the Iraqi parties truly feel obligated to take into consideration the demand for reform and for technocratic institutions, it would appear that they would move to introduce and agree on a new mechanism to select an electoral commission in a way that ensures the appointment of nonpartisan members to the commission based on their competence, experience and integrity rather than party, ethnic or religious affiliation. It would be a first step in moving away from the partisan, sectarian quota system in the government and independent state bodies.

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