The Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Iraq, Viola von Cramon, continued her observation of the electoral process in Iraq. Over the past days she met with stakeholders in Baghdad and Basra, including with Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) officials, Government officials, candidates and representatives of civil society, domestic observers, media representatives and others.
“It is important for me to follow the preparations for the elections not only in Baghdad but also outside the capital. While I spent in September some days in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, I travelled this time to the south, says the Chief Observer, adding: “The objective is not only to have myself a very good understanding of the electoral process throughout the country; it is equally important for stakeholders and voters everywhere to clearly understand the mandate and methodology of the EU Election Observation Mission.”
“The European Union Election Observation Mission is here upon invitation by the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq. Our mandate is to observe and to report on the process”, stresses the Chief Observer. “We do not monitor, interfere or supervise. We are also entirely independent from the European Union and Iraqi institutions or any other election monitoring or assistance mission in the country.”
On 8 October Viola von Cramon will observe the special voting and on 10 October the general voting day. In total, the EU EOM will deploy about 90 observers on election day. This includes a seven-member delegation of the European Parliament and about 50 diplomats from EU Member States, Canada and Norway who will also observe as part of the EU EOM.
Two days after the election day, on 12 October, the Chief Observer will present the mission’s preliminary findings in a press conference in Baghdad while the EU EOM observers will continue to observe post-electoral developments throughout the country. Chief Observer von Cramon will present the final report of the EU EOM about two months after the elections. This report will include also recommendations to improve future elections.