The European Union Mission: Historic October elections
The Head of the European Union Election Monitoring Mission in Iraq, Viola von Cramon, concluded her first visit to Iraq, while the parliamentary elections were considered historic.
A statement of the European Union mission received / Mozine News said, “The head of the European Union Election Monitoring Mission in Iraq, Viola von Cramon, concluded her first visit to Iraq today. During her four-day visit, she met the President of the Republic of Iraq and the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the High Commission. The Independent Electoral Commission (IHEC), the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Chair of the Supreme Election Security Committee and other government officials, political leaders, minority representatives, and civil society activists to discuss their views on the electoral process and their concerns.”
The head of the monitors stressed in a press conference held in Erbil, according to the statement, “The importance of the 2021 parliamentary elections for Iraq and its people, and these elections can be considered historic for both the European Union and Iraq,” noting that “this is the first time that the European Union sends a monitoring mission to Iraq and I Proud to lead the mission.”
“I made sure in my meetings that preparations for the elections are in full swing and that all efforts are being made to ensure the integrity of the polls and the safety of voters, polling officials and all citizens on election day and beyond,” she added.
“Security is a critical factor. Voters must have confidence that they can vote freely and safely for a candidate of their choice and that their vote makes a difference. We hope to see a high turnout on election days. Democracy and successful governance are based on expressing the will of all people.”
“Our presence as EU monitors seeks to contribute to people’s confidence in the process. We are here to monitor. The EU EOM is fair and independent and does not interfere with the electoral process. These are the elections of the Iraqi people,” added Cramon.
As the Head of Monitors explained, “the EU EOM conducts a comprehensive analysis of the entire electoral process – before election day, on polling day and after it, based on a methodology that the EU has developed over many years,” stressing that “the EOM analyzes all aspects of the electoral process.” such as the legal framework, the work of the election administration, the campaign activities of candidates and political parties, the behavior of the media, social media, voting, vote counting, the announcement of results as well as the resolution of any potential conflicts related to elections.”
She noted that “the EU’s Election Monitoring Mission will publish a final report after the elections, along with recommendations on future elections.”
It is noteworthy that the European Union Election Monitoring Mission arrived in Iraq on August 28 with a core team of twelve analysts. Twenty long-term observers were deployed in the field on 18 September. Short-term monitors from the embassies of EU Member States, Canada and Norway, along with a delegation from the European Parliament will reinforce the mission on election day. In total, the European Union Election Monitoring Mission will deploy about 80 observers.