LONDON: The United Nations affirmed its support for Iraqi authorities in the upcoming parliamentary elections to be held on Oct. 10.
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), told a Security Council briefing that the credibility of the elections will prove essential for Iraq’s future, adding the responsibility for their success rests with the Iraqi stakeholders and authorities.
“A boycott is not an effective strategy, nor will it solve anything, on the contrary, a vote not cast is in fact a gift to those you may be opposed to, hence it is important for voters and politicians alike to return to the process,” she said.
Hennis-Plasschaert called on all stakeholders to stick to the facts, focus on their own roles and responsibilities, and refrain from using the UN as a scapegoat. “Truth, discipline and courage, are required at this critical juncture,” she said, also urging them to avoid misinformation.
Briefing by SRSG for Iraq and head of UN Assistance Mission for #Iraq (UNAMI), Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, at the 8842nd meeting of the UN Security Council | 25 August 2021
— UNAMI (@UNIraq) August 25, 2021
She told Iraqi voters that in a democracy, voices are not only heard through public protests but also, and critically, at the ballot box. “This is your country, your vote, stand up and be counted.”
She commended the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission for its dedication and transformation, and said Iraq’s authorities and parties would do well to publicly acknowledge its achievements so far.
She said that UNAMI is stepping up its strategic communication efforts aimed at informing the Iraqi voters on election preparations and related UN activities, sharing facts and figures, tackling misinformation and managing public expectations.
“The October elections clearly have the potential to be different from the elections in 2018,” she told the Security Council. “Political parties themselves are the ones who can make or break these elections, it is they who must lead by example, collectively.”
She said with 46 days left until Iraqis head to the polls, “Iraq will have our support at every step of the way.”