EU Election Observation mission concludes Iraqi elections were well-managed
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Oct. 10 Iraqi elections were technically well-managed, the European Union Election Observation Mission to Iraq 2021 (EU EOM) in its final report on Sunday.
@ViolavonCramon "My mission today is the last step of the EOM. It represents however also the first step of the EU’s follow up. From here the EU Delegation and the EU Member States will support the Iraqi authorities and civil society in efforts to implement the recommendations."— EU EOM Iraq 2021 (@EUEOMIraq2021) February 27, 2022
"The conclusion in the mission's final report is that elections were technically well-managed, competitive, and the largely calm electoral campaigns enabled voters to make informed choices," said Viola von Cramon, the Chief Observer of the EU EOM. "Voting was largely peaceful and orderly, and voters were generally able to freely express their will."
"However, the legislation imposed some undue restrictions on electoral rights, unregulated campaign spending negatively affected the level playing field, freedom of the media and expression was not properly safeguarded during the campaign and the tabulation and announcement of results lacked transparency," von Cramon added.
The final report contains 23 recommendations for future elections. In the next few days, the EU Election Observation mission "will meet stakeholders from all areas of society to initiate a debate on these suggested reforms."
"The priority recommendations ask to remove the requirement for voters to have full legal capacity and to remove unreasonable restrictions on the right to stand for election," von Cramon said.
She also said that they "propose to introduce limits on donations and on campaign spending, to accurately define and decriminalise defamation, libel and legitimate information actions, and to adopt a comprehensive data protection law."
"These recommendations are proposals for consideration by the Iraqi people. They are suggestions, aimed at improving future electoral processes and strengthening Iraq's democracy, but it is up to the authorities and wider civil society to decide on their implementation," she added.
Following an invitation by the Iraqi authorities, the European Union deployed the EOM to Iraq between Aug. 28 and Oct. 31, 2021. The mission comprised some 100 observers from 22 EU member states, as well as Norway and Canada.