The United Nations top envoy in Iraq has welcomed the Iraqi Government’s decision to hold Governorate Council elections in April next year.
“Setting the date will pave the way to move swiftly towards the planning for the organization and conduct of the Governorate Council elections,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, said on Wednesday, while also highlighting the importance of the participation of all Iraqis in all stages of the polls, especially women and young people, as well as civil society organizations and political parties.
On Tuesday, the Government of Iraq announced that it had decided on 20 April 2013 as the date for the forthcoming Governorate Council elections, following consultations with the countrys’ Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), according to a news release issued by the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), which Mr. Kobler heads.
“UNAMI remains committed to supporting IHEC and its Board of Commissioners in the preparations and conduct of elections,” Mr. Kobler added.
Since 2004, the United Nations has supported seven major electoral events in Iraq. Established in 2007, the IHEC is constitutionally mandated to plan, administer and conduct elections.