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Iraq.. The start of the 2021 Parliament elections (photos)

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Expectations of a "disappointing" participation rate in Iraq's polls... and equipment failures in polling stations

Between 35 and 40%... and a representative of the Najaf reference point accuses the Election Commission of negligence
Monday - 5 Rabi' al-Awwal 1443 AH - October 11, 2021 AD Issue number [15658]

Millions of Iraqis voted yesterday to choose their representatives in the Federal Parliament in its fifth session since 2005, and the elections took place amid almost normal security measures compared to previous sessions. Between provinces closed borders and airport traffic. The voting process began at seven in the morning and ended at six without an extension of time due to the nature of the electronic devices used in the voting process. Baghdad Operations Commander Lieutenant-General Ahmed Salim said that "the security forces provided security for all voters to cast their votes, and there are no obstacles." The Director of General Traffic, Tariq Ismail, confirmed during the conference, "there are no traffic cuts in the streets, and traffic is normal in Baghdad, and only cuts are made at polling stations to protect and facilitate voter movement."

Contrary to the high rates of participation in the “special polling” process that took place last Friday, which amounted to 69 percent of the number of military voters, prisoners and displaced persons, it is expected that the voter turnout will not exceed 35-40 percent, according to the afternoon statistics table attributed to the Electoral Commission. It showed the participation of only 19 percent of voters with biometric cards and not all citizens eligible to run. However, the Electoral Commission denied this, and said that it "has not yet released (in the afternoon) any official statistics, and it is verifying the validity of the circulating schedule."

According to the data of the Independent Electoral Commission, about 3240 candidates competed in the elections, including 950 women and 789 independents, who will compete for 329 parliamentary seats, including 83 seats for a women's "quota" of 25 percent of the total parliamentary seats, in addition to 9 seats for ethnic and religious minorities. The candidates are divided into 21 alliances and 109 parties. The number of eligible voters is more than 24 million, and more than 14 million of them have obtained the biometric card.

The elections were held according to the “multiple districts” system for the first time, which divides Iraq into (83) electoral districts, from which 3 to 5 candidates win a parliamentary seat after winning the largest number of votes. The population of the electoral district ranges between (300-500) thousand. voter. The number of polling stations is 8,954 public centers, 55 thousand and 41 stations, 681 private centers, 86 centers inside camps, and 6 prison stations.

The commission’s data indicate that the election process was managed by 309 employees, 300,000 entity agents, 80,000 local observers, 715 international observers, 17 Arab observers, 500 foreign media professionals, and 250,000 security personnel in the country’s 18 governorates. Including the governorates of the northern Kurdistan region.

Despite the relative smoothness of the voting process, the malfunctions that occurred in the voting machines in some polling stations raised fears and prompted the representative of the religious authority in Najaf, Rashid Al-Husseini, to criticize the work of the Electoral Commission. "Unfortunately, there is great delay in the work of the commission, especially in Najaf, I learned that 34 stations are unable to receive voters," Al-Husseini said after he was prevented from casting his vote for not updating his electoral card. He added, "I was surprised to be informed of my inability to vote on the pretext of not updating my electoral data even though I did, knowing that the commission did not send me a letter confirming the update of the information.

"If there is a malfunction, it will be fixed by the relevant company, but there are problems with the fingerprint and it does not match the devices," said Viola von Kramon, head of the European Union Election Observation Mission. The polling staff are well trained.” And Karamon said during a press conference that her mission "has not received any reports of major violations in the elections. If there were major violations, we would be aware of them."

But a coalition of election monitoring organizations reported more than 400 violations, ranging from excluding an observer or candidate agent from polling stations or introducing some to banned mobile phones in stations.

"The risks are great, and the Iraqi authorities have taken all measures to secure the elections," she said. The leader of the "Sadr movement" Muqtada al-Sadr commented on the issue of the malfunction of the electoral centers' equipment, by tweeting that "after we were informed of the failure of some equipment in the election centers, the specialists repaired some of them." He added, "Thank you to the commission and international observers, and thank you to the electoral machine. Disabling or disabling the equipment means a scratch in the democratic process."

The Electoral Commission later announced that "all voting machines have returned to service and that the general voting process is taking place as planned." The Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Jalil Adnan Khalaf, said that "what happened from a technical defect in some voting machines was very few and in limited numbers," and attributed the reason to "human errors that the electronic system cannot accept."
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  •  Time: 10/11/2021 08:59:13
  •  Reading: 2,366 times
Iran's first comment after the Iraqi elections
{Political: Al Furat News} Iran commented on the parliamentary elections in Iraq, which ended yesterday with public and private suffrage.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Monday in his weekly press conference: "What Iraq witnessed yesterday is a continuation of the democratic policy in this country."
He pointed out that "Iran rejects the presence of terrorist groups in the Kurdistan region of Iraq," noting that "Iran confirms the removal of terrorist gang sites in the region."
It is noteworthy that Iraq was special yesterday, early elections, the first after 2003, with a participation rate of 41%, according to the Electoral Commission.

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