The appointment of seven judges to the Independent High Electoral Commission in Iraq has now been completed under the supervision of the UN.
Electoral reform has been a key demand of protesters in Iraq over the past few months. Following the passing of the new electoral law by parliament last week, further progress has also been made regarding the appointment of new candidates to the Independent High Electoral Commission.
Following the appointment of five judges last week to the Commission, including Abbas Farhan Hassan, Jalil Adnan Khalaf, Amer Musa Muhammad, Fayyad Hussein Yassin and Ali Rashid, the final two names, Dahham Akram Omar and Omar Ahmed Muhammad, both from the Kurdistan region, were also recently added to complete the list of members.
“Today, we selected the last two of the judges from the Kurdistan region to complete the Commission. We are very happy with the completion of this Commission. We know that the Iraqi people have set the standards they expect from the Commission, and we look forward to working with the Council to respond to these expectations”, commented Alice Walpole, the Deputy Representative for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
The names of these candidates will now be sent to the President to issue a republican decree that will officially recognise their appointments in the Commission.
The Iraqi parliament held a session last week to approve the amendments to the electoral law. The approval of the new electoral law marks a significant achievement in terms of government reform that protesters in Iraq, as well as other senior political and religious figures, have been demanding, especially given that progress on approving the reforms in recent weeks had been rather slow.
In addition, UN experts have been assisting in the process of amending the Iraqi constitution in light of the recent protests in the country. A UN delegation of constitutional experts was received last week by the Constitutional Amendments Committee in order to provide technical support in studying the proposals submitted to the Committee.