Boycott of Iraqi election 'not an effective strategy' for parties: UN envoy
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has argued that recent public statements from some parties claiming that they would boycott national Iraqi elections slated for October are misguided and that the integrity of the vote is essential to the embattled nation's future.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said in a speech to the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the elections scheduled for October 10, "are of great importance for the future of Iraq, and boycotting them is not an effective strategy."
"The credibility of the upcoming elections will be fundamental to the future of Iraq," she continued, stressing that the responsibility for the success of the elections "lies on the concerned Iraqi parties and the official authorities."
Despite multiple postponements of the vote and a number of parties in the Iraqi legislature having announced that they would boycott the election, including the movement of firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the federal electoral commission and Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi have maintained that the vote will be held on the set date.
Earlier in the week, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the party of former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki called in a joint statement for the vote to go on as planned.
Their statement came following a session of the KDP Politburo and a subsequent meeting at Barzani's office with Maliki, leader of the Islamic Dawa Party, in which the two stressed the importance of “holding elections on time.”
On Saturday, Baghdad Operations Command decided to tighten security measures to protect polling stations and logistical support warehouses for the Electoral Commission ahead of the upcoming election.
Editing by John J. Catherine