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At a press conference held at IHEC Media Center on 24 February 2010, IHEC Commissioners and UNAMI’s Chief Electoral Advisor to the IHEC briefed the media on the latest status of election preparations for the Council of Representatives’ Election.

By Sabah Abdulrahman
To assess the success the new UN integrated approach of Local Area Development Plan (LADP) that aims to assist local governmental administrations to overcome their planning deficiency, the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Development and Humanitarian Support Mrs. Christine McNab visited the District of ‘Said Sadiq’, 60 km east of Sulaymaniya, on 27 January 2010.

By Randa Jamal
On 16 July 2009, the Diyala Return and Integration Initiative, aimed at establishing the conditions for the return of over 95,000 displaced Iraqis who fled violence inflicted on them in 2006-2007, was launched by the Government of Iraq (GoI) and the United Nations (UN) under Order Number 54 issued by the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office.

By Randa Jamal
On 6 February 2010, the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) for Iraq held a joint press conference with UNAMI, to address both international and national media in Iraq. The objectives of the conference included, among others, announcing the start of the election campaign and laying emphasis on the restrictions during campaigning ahead of the Council of Representatives Election, scheduled for 7 March 2010.
 

Interview with Svetlana Galkina, Public Outreach Adviser, Office of Electoral Assistance
By Sabah Abdul-Rahman
1) Can you please explain what is meant by Out-of-Country Voting? What is the role of UNAMI in this regard?
The Iraq Out-of-Country Voting Program, or Iraq OCV, is a program organized to enable Iraqis residing outside of Iraq to register and vote in the upcoming Council of Representatives’ election.

By Randa Jamal
A security plan is instrumental towards a credible electoral process that would allow citizens of any given country to visit polling stations to vote for their future leaders on Election Day. This notion is particularly significant for Iraq in light of the security situation, its constraints and difficulties the country might face during the period leading up to the election, in general, and on voting day, in particular. Under the banner of Towards a Safe and Credible Election, the Independent High Election Commission (IHEC) held a one day conference at Al-Rasheed Hotel on 23 January 2010. The objectives of the conference to discuss the security plan and the operational procedures were spelled out ahead of time by all the concerned parties.

By: Sabah Abdulrahman
Ihsan Barzinji contributed to this story.
The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) started on Sunday 18 January 2010 a series of activities in Erbil to train its staff on polling and counting procedures in preparation for the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for March 7th. A total of 360 IHEC staff members throughout the country are enrolled in these training sessions. Upon completion of the training sessions, they will act as trainers and cascade the training to their colleagues in their respective governorates.

The first of two lottery exercises to select Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) Polling Staff for the Council of Representatives Election took place on 18 January at Al-Rasheed Hotel, during an official event attended by IHEC officials, the Board of Commissioners, UNAMI’s Chief Technical Advisor to the IHEC, as well as media and civil society representatives. Candidates were randomly selected for Iraq’s central and southern governorates. The second lottery which will select the polling staff for the northern governorates of Iraq, will be held by IHEC in Erbil on 21 January.

By Zaid Fahmi
Baghdad, 14 January 2010 - A training workshop for 16 IHEC Master Trainers in the Procedures and Training Department, started on 10 January 2010, in preparation for the nation-wide cascade training for up to 300,000 polling and counting staff. The workshop, facilitated by UNAMI advisors, lasted until 14 January, and aimed at assisting the IHEC in achieving consistency and quality control throughout the cascade.

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