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Delay In Amending Iraqi Election Law

Top UN Official Concerned Over Delay In Amending Iraqi Election Law

New York, Oct 21 2009 9:10AM The top United Nations official in Iraq voiced his concern today that the delay in passing amendments to the country’s 2005 election law could disrupt the timeline and preparations for the holding of next January’s parliamentary polls.

Ad Melkert, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, emphasized that the date of 16 January is crucial as it is still within the limits set by the Constitution.

“Time is critical and further delays in ratifying the amendment clarifications and the legal framework can adversely affect both the current electoral timeline, and ultimately the credibility of the electoral process,” he said.

In a news release issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Mr. Melkert urged all members of the Council of Representatives to ensure that the necessary progress is made to avoid disruptions to the electoral process.

Two weeks ago the Council delayed a decision on the election law amid disagreement over several aspects of proposed amendments and a desire of some parliamentary members to evaluate the performance of the Independent High Election Commission (IHEC), which is tasked with staging the polls.

“It is the collective responsibility of members of Parliament to now rise to the occasion and be ready to account to the Iraqi people who expect to exercise their right to express their preference in the upcoming elections,” stated Mr. Melkert.

He added that it is equally important that Iraqi parliamentarians recognize that the focus should remain on the national process and overcome any narrow considerations that could be the source of the current stalemate.

ENDS

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