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UN trains nine Iraqi election commissioners

UN trains nine Iraqi election commissioners

The United Nations, which has long supported the convening of democratic elections in Iraq, today kicked off a week-long session to train nine new members of the country’s Independent High Electoral Commission.

“Electoral assistance continues to be one of the very important ways that the United Nations is contributing in Iraq, helping Iraqis to build a more peaceful and democratic future,” said B. Lynn Pascoe, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

The session, lasting until 8 June, will be conducted in New Delhi, India, by staff from the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) and the Electoral Assistance Division of the Department for Political Affairs. The invitation to hold the training in India was extended by the country’s Government as well as its Election Commission, whose members will share their experiences with their Iraqi counterparts.

The aim of the session is to teach the nine Iraqis how to manage the electoral process in a transparent and non-partisan manner.

It is also hoped that during the week-long process, the commissioners, who were appointed by Iraq’s Council of Representatives after legislation was passed earlier this year, will forge a strong working relationship with each other.

The UN has a successful track record of supporting Iraq elections, dating back to 2004. The world body’s experts provided assistance that culminated in the election of Governorate Councils and a national Council of Representatives, as well as the adoption of a new constitution.

UNAMI has also provided advice on the establishment of permanent independent electoral institutions.