Iraq conducted early elections for the Council of Representatives on 10 October. These elections mark an important step in the consolidation of Iraq's democracy and long-term stability. The efforts of the Iraqi electoral authorities and security forces resulted in a largely peaceful and orderly ballot, despite low turnout.
Upon Iraq’s request, the European Union decided to deploy an Election Observation Mission in the country for the first time. The Mission presented a preliminary statement on the elections earlier today, in which it assessed that the polls were well managed and competitive. However, there were some challenges as regards the level playing field and some aspects of the legal framework were problematic. After this preliminary assessment, the Mission will publish a comprehensive report including recommendations to improve the Iraqi electoral process.
Vote counting is ongoing and results are still coming in. I hope this will lead to the swift formation of a representative government, responsive to the needs and aspirations of the Iraqi people. It is important that all actors accept the results and that any potential claims of irregularities be addressed promptly through available procedures.
The EU will remain a strong partner of Iraq, its stability and sovereignty. We look forward to working closely with the next government in the implementation of urgently needed reforms, as demanded by the Iraqi people.