Democracy and Elections

Report of Tammuz Organization for Social Development about the Surveillance of Electoral Campaign for Provisional Elections 2013

Tammuz Organization for Social Development continues in surveillance of electoral campaigns for the recorded political entities to elect of provisional elections 2013 by its monitors in whole provinces of Iraq,  Independent High Electoral Commission determined the date for electoral campaigns from period 20th of March until 19th of April and it will be Silence Day. Then the Electoral Commission will early make campaigns and electoral propagandas to be from 1st March 2013 and will continue for fifty days, noted that Independent High Electoral Commission has approved on the electoral campaigns system no.10 for 2012, where the commission announced on 29 December 2012 and determined period of electoral campaigns and put standards and conditions for it.
It was mentioned that High Electoral Commission announced in 4th of January 2013, that the number of entities and coalitions will participate in the coming local elections scheduled in the twentieth of April and totaled 139 political entities, indicating that a number of nominees for local elections come to 8131 persons. Independent High Electoral Commission called for abidance by modified law of provisional elections No.(36) of 2008, which was allotting its sixth chapter and seventh articles on the publicity and electoral crime, and on election campaigns Regulation No. (10) for 2012, herewith the following things:
1. Determine the rules and conditions of electoral campaigns that carry out by coalitions, political entities and nominees
2. Specifying the places of  electoral campaigns in coordination with the Municipality of Baghdad and Public Works.
3. Commission formed a committee to monitoring the electoral breaches through its offices in provinces, and it also makes the fields visiting in all provinces where the election will be hold.
The commission has announced that it is observed more than (700) breach of the terms of the electoral campaigns in the provinces, and the commission continuing to impose fines on violators and are warning the political entities, coalitions and candidates to raise the breach, and in the case not to raise overtaking during (3) days from the notifying date, the political entity will afford legal consequences.
The political entities and candidates for the election of the next provisional councils in Iraq has started their race on Friday (1st of March.2013) to put their electoral propaganda in roads of province accordance to the deadline set by the Commission for electoral propaganda.
Our organization recorded a set of general observations of the electoral campaign such as:
1.    Starting the early propaganda in a form that does not represent a breach through put signboard under name of candidate’s tribe to congratulate his nomination, and this is a kind of preliminary propaganda.
2.    Some candidates and political entities has booking an important place for their propagandas before the electoral campaign and wrote ( it was booked); this is also considered an early booking
3.    Absence of electoral programs for the most lists where it does not put forward the lists of the electoral programs except a few number of them. Most of lists focused in its campaign on the public logos and promises far from tangibility, also focused on the rhythm of the words and its arrange more than focus on the logo.
4.    In the light of countable electoral programs observed that some candidates are strength from tribe and relatives in the names of candidates and electoral propaganda, and some of them shows the relationship between him and his relative, who may be religious man or tribe Sheikh or deputy in the parliament.
5.    Most of the political entities, who are representing the power parties, nominate candidates from the officials relatives in these entities, including the son or daughter or nephew or cousin or brother or sister or a husband or wife for someone deputy in the parliament, or one of the officials in the political entity.
6.    Variety the propaganda methods of the electoral lists, in addition to traditional advertising such as posters, photographs, speeches and media propaganda , and it was also used social networking sites in the pages and groups on Facebook, Twitter and other electronic means.
7.    Many non-governmental organizations have training courses for male and female candidates on the mechanisms of electoral campaigns management and how to win of the voting, and some organizations focused on the training of candidates and voter education to participate in the election.
8.    Offices of commission in Baghdad and provinces carried out many of activities that call the people to participate in the elections and how to vote and know the electoral center.
9.    There are phenomena of tearing logos and posters for the various electoral lists
10.     Fastening of posters on the fences of government foundations and departments instead of specific places, which consider a violation of the instructions of the Independent High Electoral Commission
11.     Confusion and lack of planning in the distribution of propaganda past of posters in places inappropriate or inappropriate for electoral propaganda as fasten posters on the waste container.
12.     Some lists have been active in noticeable by their candidates and use volunteers for the delivery of electoral programs and propaganda materials through direct contact with voter and talk to him and by visiting the citizens in their homes, markets, shops and street intersections.
13.     Many of candidates carried out mass events in different areas in order to elect them in the election
14.     Some political exposed to the security attacks when they carried out the electoral activities such as in Diyala in targeting the headquarter of Al-Azimon List.
15.     Targeting a number of election candidates and exposed to the security accidents and killing a number in provinces including (Baghdad, Nineveh, Salah al-Din, Anbar, Diyala and Wasit)
16.     Iraqi Satellite Channel has called to present the election advertising free of charge, while the other Satellite Channels provided a paid Ads for election advertising and it also offered many discussions shows on various satellite channels.
17.     Many of newspapers and magazines carried out a paid Ads for lists and candidates, but some newspapers provided Ads for candidates and lists of political entities, which are their newspapers
18.     Contrast of advertising campaigns for competitive entities and their power between list and other or candidate and another of the same list, where it was monitored some lists have spent a large sum for advertising of candidate and some of them.
19.     A clear contrast in the specified funds for the election Ads between the list and other special among the lists that represent the power parties and lists that are not in government, where we noticed that the budgets of power lists are the biggest one and this is became clear through allocating a paid Ads telephone numbers to their candidates, while other lists lacked for such possibilities.
20.     Some candidates, special women, did not put their pictures on signboard but they put their husbands’ pictures, while other candidates do not put picture

The organization has monitored hundred of breaches in Baghdad and provinces, and we show some samples of them:
1.    Participation of the security and policeman in pasting and distributing of the electoral Ads, and this is violate of law
2.    In some of signboards, it was been delusory of citizen that the candidate name is mentioned in the Holy Quran by insertion the Verse of the Qur’an that contains the same name of candidate, and this happen with Eradat al-Ahali List in Baghdad
3.    It was also noticed that some officials in some government foundations benefit from their position to promote for themselves and argue employees to elect them; note that the law prohibits the administrative and financial penalties and terms of the law and the system of election campaigns that he “may not be to the staff of government departments and local authorities of different grades exploit functional positions to carry out the campaign in favor of themselves or of any candidate or political entity or influence voters indicates. The law and electoral campaigns system indicated that the employees of state departments and local authorities cannot be exploit their positions to make the electoral campaign, whether for themselves or candidate or political entity.
4.    Some candidates give promises for tens of citizens to employment them and register the name of unemployed in order to shout and raise signboard of their name (Name of Candidate), but this contrary to the regulations and the rules of election campaigns that states that “the prohibition of any political entity or coalition or candidate to present gifts or donation during the election campaign”
5.    Start of early election campaign before the official date to its launch in Dhi Qar province, where some blocs, parties and candidates breached the scheduled date for the start of the media campaign and put their banners in neighborhoods, bridges and some of the important streets in the city center of Dhi Qar, and this is contrary  to Article of rules of the election campaigns, which stipulated “political entities, coalitions and candidates have right to authenticated by the Commission to begin their election campaigns starting from 01/03/ 2013.”
6.    It was controlled many of breaches in many of provinces, for example, in Diyala province there are 50 candidates belonging to many political blocs and parties have contrary the rules of the propaganda campaign through spreading of election posters near government departments or polling stations or using posters on wall of schools and government foundations, and also set signboards near of the security stations, checkpoints and traffic signs, but this is contrary to rules of the election propagandas, where it states “The Municipality of Baghdad will determine in coordination with commission the places, which the electoral propaganda prevents over the previous period for the selected day of the elections, and prevent the publication of any announcement, program, or pictures of the candidates in the polling stations.
7.    Disruption some of posters and signboards inciting by some officials without disclosing their names
8.    One of candidates in Najaf province to publicity to himself in the Ebtihal High School in Najaf and meet with the students and the distribution of gifts to them.
9.    The most prominent and dangerous breaches in the election process is exploitation of the state resources and utilize by some candidates to support of their election campaigns
10.     All candidates of the councils’ members and some candidates of employees use the council cars to move from region to other in order to define themselves, but this is impermissible
11.     It was exploited the students to propaganda because the big number of candidates are from teachers and they have direct effect on the students
12.     The controlled breaches are varied such as pasting of posters and pictures of candidates in inacceptable places or disrupting some of special posters by some candidates or exploitation of  public money in the election propaganda or participation in the election campaign of security men and students in schools.
It is worth mentioning that Tammuz Organization for Social Development already monitored of the election processes in whole stages since 2005, where it works through its volunteer staff  to observe of the update process of voters’ register and prepare to monitor the election in the whole of Iraq provinces in the special and public poll.

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