May 1, 2014
1 May 2014 – The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) conducted a limited Election Observation Mission to the Dohuk region of Iraq on the occasion of the Iraqi parliamentary and the Governorate Council Elections for the Kurdistan Region.
On 30 April 2014, 612,065 registered voters from the Dohuk governorate had the opportunity to cast their vote across 264 polling stations.
28 seats for the Governorate Council, including 3 seats reserved for minority components, had to be chosen for the Dohuk Governorate. As for the Council of Representatives, with a total amount of 328 members, 12 seats, including 1 minority component seat, had to be elected in Dohuk.
Two days prior to the election day, on 28 April 2013, Special Elections took place for the army, security personnel, hospitalized individuals and IDP’s, amounting for a total of 29,370.
Since 2003, parliamentary elections have taken place four times, in relative free and democratic conditions. This year’s elections took place in considerably secure conditions, especially in the Kurdistan Region.
On 29 April 2014, UNPO engaged in a meeting with Mr. Yousir, the Dohuk director of the Independent High Electoral Commission, the institution responsible for all aspects of the elections. The UNPO delegates were provided with information on the background to the elections and it was stressed by Mr. Yousir that Dohuk has consistently been the Governorate with the highest voter turn-out in all of Iraq for several years.
UNPO conducted the observation according to IHEC and OSCE standards, and in accordance to Iraqi and Kurdish Regional Government Law, and was particularly interested in the diversity in participation and experience of the country’s minority components.
UNPO will present its findings of the limited Election Observation Mission to Dohuk in a report that will be available for download, and that will be sent to the relevant institutions.
In 2009 UNPO sent two Election Observation Teams to Iraq to observe Provincial Elections in the Nineveh Plain, and Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in the Kurdistan Region. Also during these missions, polling centres in minority communities received particular attention.
Download the press release here.
Picture by James Gordon