New election law will help consolidate Iraq’s political progress, says Ban

24 September 2008

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed Iraq’s new provincial election law, which followed months of intense discussions and will now facilitate the holding of elections in the fledgling democracy.

“This is a very important step forward which should contribute to political normalization in Iraq,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) “was able to support this process significantly by facilitating dialogue and offering compromise proposals,” the statement added.

In a report issued last month, Mr. Ban had warned that unless a new electoral law was passed in time, Iraqis would be deprived of the chance to vote this year, which he said could alienate various communities in the country.

The UN, today’s statement said, “will continue to assist the Iraqi High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to ensure timely preparations of the provincial elections with the view of holding elections that are credible and accepted by the Iraqi people, including the nation’s minorities.”

UNAMI, whose mandate was extended by the Security Council last month for one more year, is also assisting the Government on a number of other issues, including the question of internal boundaries.

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UN mission in Iraq ‘regrets’ failure of parliament to pass an electoral law

The United Nations Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) says it regrets that an opportunity was missed yesterday when the country’s parliament adjourned without reaching agreement on a new provincial elections law.