The Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission to Iraq (EU EOM), Viola von Cramon, concluded her first visit to Iraq today. During her four-day visit she met with the President of Iraq, the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), the Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government, Head of the Election Supreme Security Committee as well as other government officials, political leaders, minority representatives and civil society activists to discuss their views on the electoral process and their concerns.
Prior to her departure from Erbil the Chief Observer emphasised again the importance of the 2021 parliamentary elections for Iraq and its peoples. “These elections can be seen as historic for both, the European Union and Iraq. This is the first time that the EU is sending an observation mission to Iraq and I’m proud to lead the mission.”
“In my meetings I was assured that the preparations for the elections are well under way and all efforts are being undertaken to ensure the integrity of the polls, the safety of voters, poll workers and all citizens on election day and beyond”, said the Chief Observer. “Security is a crucial factor. Voters must have the confidence that they can vote freely and safely for the candidate of their choice and that their vote makes a difference. We hope to see a significant turnout on election days. Democracy and successful governance are based on expression of the will of all people.”
“Our presence as EU observers strives also to contribute to the confidence of people into the process. We are here to observe. The EU EOM is impartial, independent and does not interfere in the electoral process. These are the elections of the Iraqi people”, added Mrs. von Cramon.
“The EU EOM conducts a comprehensive analysis of the entire electoral process – prior to, on and after election day, based on a methodology developed by the European Union over many years. The EU EOM analyses all aspects of the electoral process, such as the legal framework, the work of the election administration, the campaign activities of the candidates and political parties, the conduct of the media, the social media, voting, counting and the announcement of results as well as the resolution of any potential election related disputes,” explained the Chief Observer. The EU EOM will publish a final report after the elections are concluded, together with recommendations for future elections.
The EU EOM arrived in Iraq on the 28 August with a core team of twelve analysts. Twenty long-term observers were deployed to the field on 18 September. Short-term observers from EU member states embassies, Canada and Norway, together with a delegation of the European Parliament will reinforce the mission around election day. In total the EU EOM will deploy about 80 observers.