Iraq

Iraq: UNAMI recognizes importance of CoR decision on inclusion of minorities

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Baghdad - 4 November 2008 - The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) recognizes the importance of the decision by the Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR) to allocate specific seats for representatives of Iraq's minority components on the Provincial Councils.

Although the amendment adopted by the CoR does not reflect a larger number of seats for Iraqi minorities consistent with UNAMI's original proposal, UNAMI respects the CoR's decision, which was adopted by a majority of 106 votes and is binding for the current elections.

The adoption of the amendment to the electoral law should be seen as a contribution towards furthering the respect for human rights and democracy in Iraq, through the commitment of the Iraqi institutions to recognize and guarantee minority representation in their elected governing bodies.

UNAMI notes that the timing of the vote, will allow for minority candidates inclusion in the IHEC ballot lottery.

UNAMI hopes that the Presidency Council will therefore expeditiously ratify the decision approved by the CoR. This will allow IHEC to abide by operational timelines for the holding of the provincial elections within the mandated deadline of 31 January 2009.