ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The United Nations (UN) announced on Wednesday that all parties in the Kurdistan Region participating in Iraq's upcoming national elections have signed a code of conduct proposed by the international body.
According to Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Ján Kubiš, the electoral Charter of Honour outlines rules that will help ensure a free, fair, and civil campaign, conducted without hate speech.
The document, already signed by parties in various provinces in Iraq, also aims to achieve voter participation free of intimidation.
Kubiš told Kurdistan 24 that he urged political parties to "work in such a way that would ensure the integrity of the process, that would ensure that the competition is indeed within the norms."
He added that he encourages "international observers, not UN observers... to go see the electoral process... with their own eyes."
Kubiš also called for further empowerment and participation of women in the political process.
Head of the European Union Liason Office in Erbil Clarisse Pasztory told Kurdistan 24, "All the political entities participating in these elections signed up, agreed, confirmed, and pledged to stick to the rules and agree to all the rules."
"Voting means shaping your future," she added.
British Ambassador to Iraq Jonathan Wilks, speaking to Kurdistan 24 at Wednesday's celebration of UK Queen Day in Erbil, said, of the Charter of Honour, "It's very clear now what the rules of the game are. It's very important that everybody respects the fact that the whole of Iraq will take part in this process together."
The Iraqi parliamentary election is scheduled to be held on May 12. A total of 6,904 candidates representing multiple parties are competing to fill 329 parliamentary seats.
Campaigning for the national election kicked off in Iraq on Saturday and in the Kurdistan Region on Sunday.
On Tuesday, Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) announced that it had fined 60 candidates and political parties for violating unspecified electoral regulations.