Plasschaert calls for enhanced women participation in Iraq's policy-making

2021-09-07T11:14:40.000000Z

Shafaq News/ The Chief of the United Nations Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Special Representative of the Secretary-General Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, called for boosting women's participation in the exercise of political power in Iraq.

In a press conference held in Baghdad earlier today, Plasschaert said, "the Independent High Electoral Commission spares no effort to reduce fraud. We know there were exercises and simulations two weeks ago. There may be loopholes, but we believe that things are going well. Other parties will be monitoring the elections, not just the United Nations."

"The government is serious about holding the elections on time. We are five weeks away from the elections. At this stage, the elections cannot be postponed or reversed. We are determined that the elections will be held."

"The United Nations has nothing to do with determining the largest bloc. The Iraqi parliament and political blocs are the ones who determine the largest bloc after the elections."

"These elections are for the Iraqis, led by the Iraqis, but with the help of the United Nations. We cannot ratify the elections. UNAMI and the United Nations will not lend credibility if there are no recognized elections."

 Plasschaert said that the UNAMI team will be present in the elections, but "we cannot be present in all 350,000 stations."

"Intimidation and threats are unacceptable. There must be assurances. We are ready to help."

 "Those who destroyed their cards lost their opportunity to participate. We hope that there will be an opportunity to obtain new cards," she said.

"A report to the Security Council on the elections will be issued 30 days after the elections. There will be no reason to hide any information."

 "The calls for boycott due to disappointment are understandable to us, but not participating is wrong," she added, "casting the votes is the first step."

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