The Security Council today welcomed the certification of the results of Iraq’s parliamentary elections, three months after the polls were staged, and urged the country’s political leaders to re-double their efforts to form an inclusive and broad-based government.
The 15-member panel calls on “all political entities to respect the certified election results and the choices of the Iraqi people,” according to a statement to the press read out by Ambassador Claude Heller of Mexico, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency this month.
The Council statement echoes the remarks earlier this week of Ad Melkert, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), who described the certification as a crucial step towards the formation of a government that will shape the country’s future for the next four years.
The Federal Supreme Court upheld the results announced by Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), in which the party headed by Iyad Allawi, a former prime minister, received more votes than the coalition led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in the 325-member Council of Representatives.
At least 12 million people cast their votes in the 7 March polls, in which more than 6,000 candidates took part.
Today’s press statement by the Council stressed that Iraqi leaders should quickly engage “in an inclusive political process to form a government that represents the will and sovereignty of the Iraqi people and their hope for a strong, independent, unified and democratic Iraq.”
Last week Mr. Melkert told the Council that a broad-based coalition government in Iraq is a better alternative for the people of that country who are eager to see a stable administration.
“At this juncture, Iraq would probably be better served by a broadly inclusive government as a radical alternative to exclusion and disenfranchisement that many communities have experienced in the past,” he stated.
In his latest report on UNAMI, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that, once established, the new government will face a host of challenges, ranging from national reconciliation and the sharing of natural resources to human rights and reconstruction.
“The challenge is to consolidate the gains that have been made in recent years and not allow armed groups and other spoilers to exploit the situation,” he wrote in the report, which was released last month.
In the press statement today Mr. Heller noted that Council members condemn the recent series of terrorist attacks in Iraq “by those who sought to deny the voice of the Iraqi people by attempting to disrupt the elections and the government formation process through violence.”