Chief Observer, Viola von Cramon, opened today the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Iraq’s 2021 Parliamentary Elections in a press conference in Baghdad.
Mrs. von Cramon, a Member of the European Parliament from Germany, stated: “this is the EU’s first observation mission to Iraq. It could be seen historic for us in the EU and in Iraq. It is a clear sign of the EU's strong commitment to supporting peaceful, credible and transparent elections in the country”.
"These important polls will mark yet another milestone for Iraq, and the EU is committed to accompanying the people of Iraq throughout the process. I am proud to lead this mission. We are here to watch and to analyse. We will not interfere or influence the process in any way”, emphasised Mrs. von Cramon. “These are the elections of the Iraqi people.”
The mission's mandate is to conduct an independent and comprehensive analysis of the election process. The mission will also assess the extent to which the process complies with Iraq’s domestic law and international and regional standards for democratic elections to which Iraq has subscribed. EU observers will focus on the legal framework, electoral administration, campaign, the conduct of traditional and social media, voting, counting and announcement of results. EU Observers will remain in the country for several weeks after the election day to observe processing of potential electoral disputes and other post-electoral developments.
A core team of twelve analysts arrived in Iraq on 28 August. Early September they were joined by 20 long-term observers (LTOs). The LTOs are being briefed on all aspects of the elections before being deployed to observe on the governorate level. On election day the mission will be reinforced by locally recruited short-term observers, drawn from the diplomatic community and a delegation of the European Parliament. This will bring the number of EU observers on polling day to about 80, from EU member states as well as Canada and Norway.
The EU EOM will present the initial findings in a preliminary statement shortly after the elections. A final report - with recommendations for future elections - will be published after the completion of the electoral process.