The parliamentary elections for its fourth session will be held on the 12th of next May, the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) said.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that the cabinet decided to hold local and parliamentary elections at the same time, promising to carry out what he called a new campaign to fight corruption after the liberation of the regions from the terrorist organization of ISIS.
He added “Preparations and readiness are underway to hold the elections on time and to meet its financial, administrative and technical aspects, and to provide the necessary equipment and tools for the stages of registration, polling and counting, to the mechanisms of announcing the results and procedures related to the participation of IDPs, displaced persons and returnees in the liberated governorates and prepare suitable conditions for their participation.
Abadi urged the High Commission to “work on the principle of independence and impartiality and update electoral records of all citizens and call on the national media to encourage citizens to obtain the electoral card.”
Abadi called on citizens to go to the polling stations “to receive their electoral cards to participate in it,” stressing that “the country is on the right path.”
Sources confirmed that the most of Sunni components seek to postpone the next elections due to the unstable circumstances in their areas and most of their lands were under the control ISIS , lands with Sunni majority and the sources pointed out that the migration and displacement of “Most of the Sunni population because of military operations into areas inside and outside Iraq will deprive the (Sunni) component from many voices. ”
President of the Iraqi Council of Representatives Salim al-Jubouri, stressed that the three presidencies in Iraq (the Republic and the ministers and deputies), and leaders of the political blocs agreed to hold local and legislative elections in the country on schedule.
He added that “everyone wants the election law and its timing in order to maintain political stability in the country,” noting that hundreds of thousands of civilians, mostly from the provinces of Nineveh, Salah al-Din, Anbar and Kirkuk are in camps for displaced people deployed in the country.
Al-Jubouri stressed the need to continue to provide the basic requirements for the elections, most notably the return of displaced persons to their areas and to take the necessary reasons for their success within the constitutional deadlines, stressing that the most important to be achieved during the coming period is the elections and the war on corruption and face the economic situation to complete the victory over terrorism.
Jubouri told UN envoy to Iraq Jan Kubic that Iraq is keen to hold the parliamentary elections on schedule, calling for continued international support for his country in the field of reconstruction.
The MP for the Badr parliamentary bloc Faleh al-Khazali that the postponement of the elections in Iraq, “political bankruptcy and constitutional violation.”
The legal expert Tariq Harb stressed that the impossibility of postponement of the parliamentary elections because it “requires the amendment of the Iraqi constitution, which set the date of elections without the possibility of postponement.”
He pointed out that the calls of some of the explicit or indirect calls for the postponement are “words of no constitutional value and oppose the Constitution.”
“The number of displaced people is not real, because some of them are benefiting financially from displacement and displaced people. It is in their interest to keep this phenomenon,” Harb said. “They are inflating the numbers of displaced people to earn extra profits.”
The legal expert suggested that the coming in the elections ill be large “especially (from the Sunni component) after the plight of the da’ash that was occurred in those provinces.”
The head of the Board of commissioners in the Electoral Commission, Katie Zobai in a statement “Article (56 / I / II) of the Iraqi constitution and Article (7 / First) of the Law of Election of the Iraqi Council of Representatives No. (45) of 2013 stipulate that the elections shall be (must) held by the House of Representatives at least 45 days before the end of the previous electoral term). ”
Al-Zobaie added that “paragraph (III) of the same article above states that (the date of elections is determined by a decision of the Council of Ministers and in coordination with the Independent High Electoral Commission and endorsed by the House of Representatives and issued by a presidential decree and announced by all media before the date of the meeting not less than 90 days ), and the Commission to complete most of the preparations related to the election of the House of Representatives of Iraq for the year 2018.
The cost of parliamentary elections in Iraq:
The cost of holding parliamentary elections is estimated at about 296 billion Iraqi dinars ($ 250 million)
The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IHEC) revealed the features of general elections scheduled for mid-May, indicating that it will take place in two ways: the “special ballot”, which includes the security forces of the Ministries of the Interior and the Defense, and the “general ballot” which includes all civilian voters entitled to vote.
The commission said that members of the Popular crowed are not allowed to participate in the special vote in which the “military vote” but they will be allowed to participate in the general vote, because there was no data for members of the popular crowed.
The Chairman of the Council of the Commission, Maen al-Hitawi estimates the cost of holding the elections at 296 billion dinars, noting that the Commission is keen to complete the fulfillment of financial obligations to the contracting companies to manage the electoral process, and to submit a request for financial advances from the government that can not provide financial allocations for the purpose of contracting, Stressing that the verification devices in Nineveh, Salah al-Din and Anbar stolen or sabotaged by the terrorist organization ISIS , which requires completion of the contract to compensate in the coming months.
Al-Hitawi added that the Electoral Commission is not a security body to scrutinize the files of the parties and armed wings associated with them, but is telling the concerned parties and take legal action to exclude the political component in this regard.
Al-FadhilaBloc, parliamentary member, confirmed the ability of the Independent High Commission to hold elections with a specific constitutional date.
The head of the bloc, MP Ammar Tohma pointed out that the Electoral Commission strengthened its ability to hold elections on the constitutional date, and accelerate its procedures, and the legislation of the election law and the financing of election allocations.
On the electoral impediments in the liberated governorates, Tohma said that it can be overcome by mobilizing the governmental and parliamentary efforts to return the largest possible number of displaced people to their areas of residence, adopting fixed and temporary centers in the IDP camps and activating the mechanism of mobile teams to complete the coverage of ballot papers.
Tohmah proposed to prevent the expected pressures and negative effects on the will of the voters, to increase the presence of local and international monitoring bodies and institutions for the elections and to intensify the control and security presence in these communities to ensure free will in the expression and voting of the voter.
He added that the Commission made clear during the hosting that it had a plan to set up polling stations for the camps, which adopts the same mechanism of acceleration of results to prevent fraud.
In the Kurdistan region of Iraq, the Independent High Commission for Elections and Referendum in Kurdistan denied to set a date for holding elections in the region, announcing the need for about 30 million dollars to cover the needs for the elections.
A spokesman for the UNHCR in the province Shirwan Zerar, said that the Board of Commissioners did not specify the date of the elections, because this is the mandate of the Kurdistan Regional Government exclusively.
The MP for the Kurdistan al-Taghier bloc Amin Bakr stressed that differences are still continuing between the component of the Arab Turkmen, on the one hand, and the Kurdish on the other, on paragraph 37 on the law of provincial elections, and related to the elections in Kirkuk.
He added that the Kurdish political forces do not support going towards the legislation of a law on the elections in Kirkuk, because it leads to widening the gap between the Arab component and Kurdish in the province, and does not serve peaceful coexistence in Kirkuk.
He pointed out that in the event of continued political dispute over the law of provincial elections, Kirkuk will go to the conduct of elections under the administration of the province itself without resorting to the federal government.
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies