UNAMI lauds IHEC’s efforts to conduct public simulation exercises ahead of elections
30 August 2021
The simulation allowed IHEC’s technical staff to run through the entire polling
On 23 August 2021, Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), with the support of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), conducted a simulation to test the process that was set up for the country’s early legislative elections, scheduled for 10 October 2021. During the nationwide exercise, which was open to political parties and the media, thousands of IHEC staff played the role of voters and showed up at designated polling centers to cast their test ballots. The simulation allowed IHEC’s technical staff to run through the entire polling, counting and results transmission processes in order to identify and address any issues prior to the elections.
The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Ms. Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, observed the election simulation exercise at IHEC Headquarters in Baghdad. “This process is important, and its purpose is to avoid mistakes on Election Day,” she said. Lauding the simulation’s success, she told reporters that UNAMI supports IHEC in all electoral procedures and affirmed that the UN Mission is ready to provide additional support if requested. She added, “The United Nations has more than 150 international and national personnel working with IHEC to ensure the success of the upcoming elections, and there are also 130 additional international staff who will arrive in Iraq to monitor the elections.”
Many Iraqis are hopeful that this year’s elections will help enhance progress in their country. “This is an important step towards the future, and I hope that the elections will be as easy as what we have experienced today during the simulation,” said Noor, a young working mother who cast a test ballot in downtown Baghdad. “I really hope that the role of women will be more visible in the elections this time around, and that the people will elect good candidates.” Noor said she believed in a brighter future for the people of Iraq.
The upcoming elections will be an important milestone for Iraq’s future progress, and as Iraq charts its own path, the United Nations will continue to stand with it.