Speech by the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary‐General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Nickolay Mladenov

Baghdad, 30 April 2014

Mabrouk Iraq!

Today the Iraqi people have voted in an election that is key to the democratic transition of this great country. Democracy has a unique feature—once you give people the right to vote, it is very difficult to take it away and they, the people, become its best guardian.

 

I congratulate all Iraqis who have shown incredible resilience by turning out in significant numbers on Election Day to vote. In some areas, this has meant long hours of waiting while enduring extremely difficult security challenges.

The commitment to democracy of the majority of people in this country; their readiness to brave harsh security challenges in order to build an inclusive state need to be applauded by all. 

I also commend the efforts made by the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) in ensuring these elections were entirely Iraqi owned.

The elections were prepared in a professional manner. They were held on time and were in‐line with national commitments and were guided by international standards. I would like to recognize the work of IHEC’s permanent staff, and the 400,000 polling staff, who have shown great professionalism in discharging their duties on polling day.

The High Electoral Security Committee (HESC) and the dedication of security personnel across the country should be recognized for working intensely to ensure security on voting day.

Although in the lead up to Election Day violence across Iraq had spiked with polling stations, candidates and voters alike being targeted, on Election Day large parts of the country reported few if any incidents. On the security side, the majority of incidents that have been reported were in Ninewa, Anbar, Salahadine, some areas around Baghdad, and Kirkuk in particular.

However, those who have tried to disrupt the campaign period and Election Day, whether through speeches, threats, violence or by other means, have been proven wrong. Voters have shown their determination to exercise their rights by coming out and voting.

Nonetheless, I wish to convey my deepest condolences to the families of all victims of elections‐related violence. All voters should enjoy their right to participate in elections in a safe and secure environment, free of violence.

On a technical level, the process today has shown great maturity. The vast majority of Polling Stations opened on time, despite some challenges the polling kits worked, and the necessary support was in place where needed.

The election process however is not over yet. I want to use this opportunity to urge all to be patient and to give IHEC the necessary space to carry out through established procedures.

I call on all political entities to refrain from such actions and statements that may influence IHEC. I call on them to direct any complaints to the appropriate IHEC offices, and to respect the final decisions.

After the counting process has begun, I strongly encourage IHEC to provide the polling station and recount results to the party agents, which will only increase the process’s credibility and transparency.

And finally, once the certified results are announced, I look forward to a political process where Iraq's leaders will reach the necessary agreements to guarantee a rapid formation of a new government, based on an inclusive national programme.

Last modified on Monday, 28 August 2017 11:48

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