Democracy and Elections

Tammuz Organization announces its Initial Report about Observation of the Election of Iraqi Parliament and Provincial Councils in Kurdistan April, 30 2014

 Tammuz Organization for Social Development held a press conference announced during it the results of a preliminary report to monitor the Iraqi parliamentary elections on April 30, 2014, and the elections of provincial council of Kurdistan region with the presence a crowd of local and international media on Thursday in 01.05.2014 in hall of Baghdad International Hotel. 

Head of Organization Vian al-Sheikh Ali welcomed to attendants the media and congratulated Iraqis to success of this electoral; at the beginning of her speech she thanked organization’s monitors totaling 3120 who deployed in all Iraqi provinces on their efforts in the elections in all its stages, and praised the Commission’s efforts, the security forces and media for their role in the success of the elections in spite of some difficulties and breaches that do not affect the honesty or the results of the elections in general. She also showed that this step will entrench the values of democracy in Iraq, and this election witnessed a wide participation of citizens according to their view of the organization about 62% in all Iraqi governorates, and she also touched on the stages that organization has worked on the monitored through the period of the electoral law modifying and the end of counting and sorting in the elections stations and will continue until the announcement of the final results and approved.

After that colleague Evan Karem, Relations and Media Official, presented notes about public voting, where showed that the organization recorded more than 270 electoral violations in all the provinces, indicating that the polling stations opened at seven o’clock on April 30 but some stations could not be opening because of its presence in the hot spots and witness the security deterioration, noting that some observers of organizations and political entities were prevented from entering polling stations for reasons unknown.

He also talked about the work on the electronic footprint device and its positives in promotion the transparency and integrity of the elections, however it stopped at some polling stations, causing a delay in the process of voting in some stations, and indicated that the use of voter card reduced of violations was associated with the voting process in the past and worked to reduce the repeated voting and voting acting, cleared that the organization observed some people have a number of electronic cards where they were trying to repeat the vote in a number of provinces.

Form his part the colleague Ali al-Dujaili, Organization Secretary, talked about the most important observations on the overall of elections; saying that the organization observer has been distributed in 2800 stations in all the provinces without repetition. He explained that our observers monitored more than 270 electoral violations and some of the negative aspects most notably:

1. Continuing of the electoral propaganda near of the electoral stations and inside it sometimes by numbers of political entities and candidates in spite of the Media Silence that it decided by Independent High Elections Commission.

2. The exploitation of the state foundations and its equipments, including vehicles, and job position by some officials, entities and candidates to support the electoral propaganda and urged voters to be elected and give them some promises.

3. Programming the government service and activities and donations in simultaneity with the propaganda campaign leading to an attempt to manipulate the citizens’ emotions to influence them directly or indirectly towards those actors and thus earn their voices

4. Not taking into consideration the voters numbers in remote areas in particular when the distribution of polling stations and centers or when you transfer these stations to other areas in the ballot.

5. Inefficiency of some of the Electoral Commission cadres in the management of stations and electoral centers, in addition to that some of them have neutrality.   

6. Preventing number of observers of entering to the stations or give chance to complete their work. 

7. controlling some of mass voting conditions and that consider breach for the polling secret. 

8. There is not good audit in the voters’ documents in number of the polling stations.

9. There is the security instability in some areas as Baghdad, Babil, Diyala, Salah al-Din, Mousl and Anbar

10. Media people has voting in stations specified for them. 

11. The security breaches and threatens specially in Anbar, Mousl and Salah al-Din which influenced on participate of voters in the election.

12. The commission cancelled its decision in opening the private polling stations for staff of hospitals causing in dissatisfaction and denial of voting.

13. The presence of the electoral propaganda inside the voting stations as banners for political lists carried by some political attorneys and some observers as identity cards or pamphlet or banners with numbers of electoral list.

As for the security authorities the colleague al-Dejili explained in spite of the high discipline that characterized the role and behavior of the armed forces and internal security in the guard of the election and the polling stations, but we controlled various conditions in some provinces where they urged voters to voting for specific lists, and prevent many of observers of arriving or entering the electoral by the security authorities with unconvincing arguments.

The security forces have prevent the number of voters from reaching to the polling stations because of the security situations and the existence of improvised explosive device in a number of areas in Baghdad and its outskirts, Salahuddin, Anbar and Mosul where voters had to walk from long distances to get to the polling stations or non-participation because of their fears from going to the polling stations, also the security forces prevented the movement some of the media with cars in spite of they carry licenses issued by the Interior Ministry and the Elections Office, especially in Baghdad between Karkh and Rusafa, saying it is orders from security leaders.

At the conclusion of the conference has been presented the most important recommendations that the organization sees suitable to evaluate of the electoral in the coming years:

-Acceleration the census process of voters to proved the numbers of voters and their home areas, in order to achieve the best guarantee and a suitable division for the distribution of voters, and to ensure citizens’ right of the electionas a result of the shortcomings of the current electoral register

-Acceleration the issuance of the parties law that arranges the sources of funding it, and has to abide by the instructions of the Independent Electoral Commission in particular non-use of state properties for the benefit any contestant entity in the elections and identify sources of funding and electoral money in order to be a reasonable balance among competitors, and puts the standard who is eligible to participate in electoral competition.

– Ensure higher efficiency of all Electoral Commission, whether in terms of management level, or neutral, or boldness in immediate termination of any exceed of any party, or political entity or a candidate to protect the elections.

– The political entities must raise the capacity of its agents through their training on mechanisms, skills of observation and the way electoral complaints, as well as informing them of the elections law

– Working on more transparency and declaration of the public and private record to make sure of them, with an emphasis on the need for higher coordination among the Commission and Ministries of Interior, Defense and Health in order to avoid repetition of names and delete dead names in the electoral register of province and also audit names in the rest of the provinces, and emphasize the importance of giving all registered entities and observers a copy of the form to the results of the stations on the voting public and private. 

– Hold elections in hospitals for medical staff and patients in the day of polling, and take their electoral ballots in the case of repetition of use in the upcoming elections to prevent the possibility of multiple voting.

– Importance to punish candidates and entities that have stolen or buy electronic voter cards and those who used in the elections considered a flagrant election violation, as well as to those persons offer the accused to the judiciary to receive their fair penalty.

– Work to speed up announcement of the ballot results in the shortest period after the closure of the ballot boxes, in order to avoid doubts about the safety of votes sorting and counting.

– Working by the mechanics of counting, sorting and recording ensure accelerate the announcement of election results

– The need to be the updating process the voter registers annually. And speed up the opening barometric registration centers in order to prepare a special electoral register in the electoral commission.

– The arrangement of the state media well and also for the rest of medias, and be neutral in dealing with the competing lists, so as to ensure for these lists the equal opportunities to promote their agendas and candidates during election campaigns.

– The use of surveillance cameras inside the polling centers and stations with ensuring that the absence possibility of manipulation through polling day that are placed in places included keeping the ballot secrecy.

– The state must to provide support and facilities of local control networks, as an important part of the electoral process in order to fulfill its duty perfectly and the ability to monitor all polling stations.

It is worth mentioning that it has been a monitored all stages of the electoral since the issuance of the amendment to the electoral law until the approval declaration of the results.

Information Office Tammuz Organization for Social Development

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