In Rudaw 

Germany gives $7 million to UN’s Iraq elections project

Germany has contributed $7.25 million to a United Nations (UN) project for assistance in next year’s elections in Iraq, the UN mission to the country announced on Thursday.

Money donated by Germany will go towards capacity-building within Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission and support the deployment of UN electoral advisers, according to a United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) statement.

Iraq’s next elections are scheduled for June 6, 2021 – a year earlier than originally planned. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced the new election date in July, a move welcomed by UNAMI, who said early elections “fulfill a key popular demand on the road to greater stability and democracy in Iraq.”

The electoral commission said in August it would be ready to hold the early elections — provided that the government and parliament meet certain demands, including electoral reforms, which were signed into law in November.

“Guaranteeing democratic, transparent and inclusive elections, as well as a safe environment for both voters and candidates, are fundamental to increasing democratic participation,” Germany’s Ambassador to Iraq Dr Ole Diehl said on Thursday.

Iraq’s Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein previously said he requested foreign observers from European states to clamp down on fraud and “create confidence” between voters and political parties.

He requested the deployment of observers during a multi-stop European tour in October, when Kadhimi, Hussein and other Iraqi officials visited France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

France donated one million euros to the UN project in November. Source