In Rudaw 

Iraq requests European observers for upcoming elections

Iraq has requested European countries send foreign observers to the country for the scheduled snap election in June 2021, in an attempt at generating confidence in the future results, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein told Rudaw on Friday.

On an official tour of Europe, Hussein is currently in France, after visiting Germany and Belgium in the last few days. He told Rudaw’s Zinar Shino in Paris that his delegation has had “long” discussions with the governing bodies in Europe on several topics, including the upcoming elections in Iraq.

“One of the demands we made to the European Parliament and the European Union was that we want them to play a role in the preparation of the election and send observers to monitor the election,” said the minister.

He added that the Iraqi people did not have confidence in the validity of the previous election in May 2018’s results, which he says created problems for the government born from the vote.

“We want to create this confidence and one of the ways to create confidence between elections and the result of elections and between political parties and people is make the elections free of fraud. The foreign observers can be witnesses for the election process. If the election is free of fraud, people will have confidence in its result … This is very important for Iraq.”

The minister said that the European countries have agreed to send the requested observers.

Iraq held a parliamentary election on May 12, 2018 but many questioned the results and investigations against fraud were launched. It took the political parties months to form a new government led by Adil Abdulmahdi, who announced his resignation in late November 2019, but stayed in the position until his successor Mustafa Kadhimi was sworn in in May 2020.

Abdulmahdi’s resignation followed months of anti-establishment protests which demanded his resignation and an end to the establishment which has been in power since the US invaded Iraq in 2003.

Hussein met with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris on Friday and discussed political and security developments in Iraq, according to a statement from Iraqi foreign ministry.

Iraqi PM Kadhimi is expected to arrive in France next month to “achieve partnership in various fields,” according to the statement. Source