IHEC proposes to delay early election until October 16

To ensure preparations completed properly
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SULLAIMNI — Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) revealed on Sunday (January 17) that it has proposed to Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi that early parliamentary elections be delayed until October 16 because of problems ensuring that parties and voters are registered ahead of the current June 6 date.

In a letter to Kadhimi, IHEC said that the proposal was because it wanted “to conduct integrated, just and fair elections.”

The electoral commission said that the extension would give more time for political alliances and candidates who have not completed the registration process a chance to organize themselves.

It also allows for “sufficient time…to complete all technical preparations,” in particular ensuring that voters complete biometric registrations and receive the associated voter cards.

According to a report on election preparations issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on December 11, just 11.3 million voters out of 26.6 million still do not have biometric records.

The delay also enables “the United Nations and international experts to provide the greatest possible oversight and transparency in the upcoming electoral process and to ensure its integrity.”

(NRT Digital Media)