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Tammuz Organization for Social Development First report on monitoring the elections of the Parliament of the Kurdistan Region September 2018

01-10-2018

Tammuz Organization for Social Development First report on monitoring the elections of the Parliament of the Kurdistan Region September 2018

 The observer’s network of the organization of Tammuz for social development monitors the elections of the Parliament of the Kurdistan Region, with that the organization monitored for the third time the elections of the Parliament of the region. The network of Tammuz observers was established in November 2004, contributed to the monitoring of all electoral processes since 2005, and all its types of provincial elections and the Iraqi Council and the referendum on the Constitution, And the elections of the Parliament of the Kurdistan Region, the organization deployed its observers in 100 polling stations in Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah and Halabja. It also relied on volunteers as mobile teams to follow up the elections.

It is worth mentioning that the organization of Tammuz was founded in 1997 in the Iraqi Kurdistan, and then the organization expanded its work in Baghdad and other provinces after 2003, in a variety of fields and activities as well as the field of development, democratic transition, human rights areas and others.

 

The field monitoring mechanism was adopted in the centers by observing the voting process in accordance with international standards for electoral democracy, which is divided into three stages: opening, polling and finally closing, sorting and counting. The evaluation is conducted through a set of questions for each stage.

 

Positive Feedback:

1. The electoral campaign witnessed a relative calm and an area of ​​freedom in the practice of electoral propaganda for most lists and candidates.

2. The timing of voting from 8 am to 6 pm is the most appropriate compared to previous electoral processes, as well as adherence to the time limit for voting without resorting to an extension.

3. Provide a copy of the voter register printed to observers and political agents to compare with voter data.

4. Provide good security protection to electoral centers.

5. The UNHCR team is available at the right time in most centers.

6. The process of the entry of voters to polling stations was conducted smoothly and without obstacles in most centers.

7. An intensive presence of observers of political entities in all stations and centers covered.

8. The presence of a number of international observers to monitor the elections

9. Voter screening on the basis of gender, age and education in the counting process is calculated from the positive and negative observations, providing detailed data on the voters but at the same time delays the counting and sorting process within the station.

 

Negative feedback:

1. The weakness of the voter's confidence in the impact of the elections in achieving a reform of the political process, democracy and economic in the region, because of the past years of Kurdistan in the political and economic crisis,Resulting in a low voter turnout.

2. Weakness in education campaigns to participate in the elections by the Electoral Commission and civil society organizations.

3. Exploitation of public funds and government functions in campaigning, and the absence of deterrent laws.

4. The absence of a system and a law that specifies the financial ceiling for spending on the electoral campaign for candidates and lists, as well as the lack of tools to monitor the volume of spending on propaganda, which led to varying opportunities in the propaganda between the electoral lists on the one hand and between candidates within the same list on the other hand.

5. Pre-questioning the fairness of the electoral process, where all parties accused each other of preparing for systematic fraud, which increased the public's lack of confidence in the integrity of the electoral process.

6. The issuance of decisions by the Commission and its cancellation days before the elections weakened the confidence in the elections and participation. As happened in the decision to photograph the voter with his document, and then cancel before implementation.

7. A breach in the media silence, when counting and sorting in voting centers on the day of the special vote.

8. A number of journalists were prevented from media coverage of the private voting centers where two channels of KNN and NRT were banned in some centers within Sulaymaniyah governorate.

9. Opening most of the centers on time, except for some centers such as the center in Sulaymaniyah did not open until 8:40 minutes and station No. 5 at the school of Azadi Girls in Erbil did not open until 12 noon because of the lack of electoral register for the station.

10. The presence of election propaganda close to polling stations, and did not prevent the entry of voters to polling stations wearing clothing and badges bearing party propaganda, has been noted this situation frequently in Arbil, Sulaymaniyah, Dahuk and Halabja.

11. Dozens of voters were unable to vote because they did not bring them to the approved documents, especially after the decision of the Electoral Commission on May 11 to hold the civil status certificate in addition to the citizenship certificate.

12. There is a disparity in the commitment of the station staff to the instructions of the Commission, where some did not comply with instructions for deliberate and unintentional reasons of lack of knowledge.

13. Deportation of dozens of voters because they do not have their names in the voters register. There are also numerous errors in voter records.

14. Watch cases of family voting in a number of centers in Dohuk, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Halabja.

15. Some of the observers of the parties of the Authority acted as if they were employees of the stations in terms of their intervention and to give the opinion and guidance to the staff of the station.

16. Continuation of the election propaganda near the polling stations, including hearing songs of the National Union in the center of Ahmadi Khan in Erbil.

17. Deprivation of a number of senior citizens from the election because their names do not appear in the voters register.

18. Some voters filming their papers after the vote.

19. In the afternoon, there was no obligation to attach the identity of the civil status with the certificate of nationality.

20. A vote by a number of security forces on the day of the general vote on the grounds that they do not have their names in the records on the day of the special vote, and this is what I noticed in a number of centers, including the Analinda school in Erbil.

21. Monitoring two cases of pre-voting where voters attended and were surprised by the presence of signatures in their names in the register of voters and this was monitored at the schools of Shaista and Roshni in Erbil.

22 - An attempt to falsify in the center of Barzani Nimr in Erbil, where one voter wanted to vote with incorrect documents, but was revealed and did not take place the vote.

23. A number of voting cases were monitored without finger-pointing at the Shirin Center in Sulaymaniyah.

24. Control of cases and attempts of forgery using forged documents at a post office in Sulaymaniyah.

25. Storming the Bradstud center in Sulaymaniyah by civilian persons, assaulting political agents, security forces, breaking boxes, and shooting at a security force.

26. Security forces stormed the Roushna center in Sulaymaniyah before the end of the voting phase and expelled the political agents and observers and by force, including the observer of our organization.

27. Registration of a number of complaints to a number of agents of political entities in the days of private and public voting.

In conclusion, the recommendations that the organization considers appropriate for evaluating the electoral process in the coming years are:

- Making legal amendments and creating legislation that regulates the electoral process more fairly and equitably.

- Violators of laws and regulations should be punished and the recurrence of these violations should be reduced and increased due to the absence of a deterrent.

- The need to conduct a census, which will prepare the voters and their districts and provide a precise database for a strong electoral register.

- The importance of an effective party law that regulates political life according to democratic standards.

- The need for a specialized court to hear the electoral disputes.

- The importance of raising the level of electoral awareness through intensive programs and campaigns of the Independent High Electoral Commission for the elections and the referendum in the Kurdistan Region before an appropriate time of conducting the electoral processes.

- Not to count women who won equal votes for male winners within the quota of women, and to achieve quota for women who did not win their votes, in respect of voters' votes and the election law and to ensure greater representation of women in parliament contributes to the achievement of equality.

- Work to expedite the announcement of the results of the polling in a short time and put it on the site of the Independent Electoral Commission in Kurdistan in detail shows the results of each station and each center, so as not to raise doubts about the safety of the vote or the presence of fake stations.

- Creating a legal mechanism to ensure that the real representatives of the minorities' houses are not bypassed by the big parties.

- The administration of the region should provide support and facilities for the local monitoring networks, as an important part of the electoral process in order to fulfill its duty of mastery and ability to monitor all polling stations.

 

Media office

Tammuz Organization for Social Development

  2018/ 1/10

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