The European Union mission announced Today, Thursday, the start of its mission in Iraq, confirming that 80 personnel from The EU will be present on the polling day.
The head of the mission, Viola von Cramon, said during a press conference attended by the Iraqi News Agency (INA): "This is the first time that the European Union mission is sent to participate in Iraq", affirming EU commitment to stand with the Iraqi people.
She also explained that, “The European Union supports observation and analysis, not the interference, and focus on securing the electoral process," noting that "electoral monitoring is an important part of securing human rights."
Cramon also added, "We are here at the invitation of the Iraqi authorities and the Independent High Electoral Commission, and our work has actually begun, as 12 observers have arrived and they are in contact with everyone," noting that "our goal is to observe and ensure that the elections will be conducted in accordance with international standards, Iraqi law and international treaties that were signed by Iraq, There are no standards that were imposed by the European Union."
She also pointed out that "On the election day, our mission will be accompanied by local people, as it is expected that the mission will consist of 7 members from the European Parliament," stressing that "there are 80 personnel from the European Union who will be present on the election day."
And she noted that , "The Union looks forward to work with Iraq, and the governmental authorities and parties will enhance the success of the elections," affirming that "violence and intimidation have no place in the elections."
In a related context, Cramon said, in a statement to the Iraqi News Agency (INA), that "Despite the large size of Iraq and the insufficient numbers of the observers, but EU mission has great experience from the electoral processes for various countries around the world, and is working within samples to monitor the elections," stressing that " the work will be in five weeks before the elections, as well as talking to candidates and making a thorough assessment before polling day.”
"We are trying to exchange information with Iraqi authorities and experts, and there will be a random selection of polling centers to be monitored, and the coverage of all the provinces and centers depends on the security situation," Cramon added.
She also called on all the iraqis to participate in the elections, stressing that non-participation will make it difficult for Iraq's democracy.
She stressed, "The work of the European Union is different from the role of the United Nations mission," noting that "the mission will meet with the government and political blocs and will present recommendations to them."
It’s to be mentioned that the European Union had announced, earlier, the dispatch of a team to monitor the legislative elections scheduled for October 10th.
According to a statement by the EU, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, has appointed Member of the European Parliament, Viola von Cramon Topadil, as the chief observer for the European Union Election Observation Mission.