In frame of preparing to conduct, the upcoming election / the voting stage the elections by the Independent High Electoral Commission and according to the timetable of implementing the operational schedule. The discussions about procedures and instructions of the voting process based on Elections Law No. 9, of 2020, are under way ; as the Board of Commissioners in this regard approved the deployment plan For (8273) general polling centers, and all electoral offices were directed to change to their locations within the geographical area and find places close to the centers and the constituency in order to ensure the arrival of the voters easily, and to place labels which indicating the old centers, on the condition that the new center holds the same name of the old one by means of an inference sign explaining that.
The Board of Commissioners issued a decision of granting conditional registration licenses to political parties and coalitions who are wishing to participate in the elections until the approval is received from the Supreme National Commission for Accountability and Justice, forensic evidences, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and the Integrity Commission). These parties should complete the procedures related to them within a period not exceeding (90) days from the issuance of the decision to grant the license, and the BoC of IHEC will grant a conditional registration license for (3) political parties on 2/17/2021.
In the same context, the Board of Commissioners issued a decision to reduce the insurance amount imposed on candidates to be two million dinars instead of five million dinars. The fees of the candidate’s eligibility verification, also was reduced to (167.000) one hundred and sixty-seven thousand dinars. In addition to coordinate with the same authorities which are responsible for verifying the received response within a period no more than (15) days. These efforts came within the framework of the Elections Commission’s endeavor to provide facilities and reduce the financial burden on the candidates. In order to open up more room for political parties and alliances to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
To ensure the voting of the displaced persons , the Board of Commissioners formed a committee (counting the numbers of displaced persons) headed by a member of the BoC, and the membership of a number of specialized employees to count the numbers of displaced voters. the committee conducted inspection tours to the camps for the displaced in the governorates (Diyala, Kirkuk, Sulaymaniyah, Duhok, Erbil) In cooperation with the managers of electoral offices in those governorates, as well as the formation of other committees in these governorates; To inspect the camps for the displaced, follow up on the work of the mobile teams, and provide support & assistance during the process of updating their data biometrically. The statistics indicate that (12812) displaced voters, have been registered.
Responding to the request of the commission, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, to direct public and private universities to encourage students specialized in the field of information technology (computer science, information systems, software engineering, computer engineering), to volunteer in the work , as for the students of the second and third academic stages to perform the finished stages of Summer training in registration centers and the work of the mobile teams of the Office.
Regarding government cooperation and institutional coordination to support the electoral process, the Elections Commission signed (8) memoranda of understanding to support and assist the commission’s work with government’s institutions and departments. In order to activate this joint cooperation, a meeting was held and included the Secretary-General of the Board of Commissioners, the assistants of the Head of the Electoral Administration for Technical Affairs, and Administrative and Financial Affairs in the Elections Commission, and the Consultative Team of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, which was composed of the National Security Adviser and a number of ministries, in the presence of a number of the Commission’s technical staff from the Operations and Information Technology; To discuss the development of programs related to information technology , and to programs of (governance) and (automation) programs that pertain to the work of the Commission and help in conducting free and fair elections.
IHEC, through its electoral offices in all governorates, implements an education and awareness electoral campaign for the people in direct ways with the targeted groups through holding seminars and dialogue sessions with representatives of parties, political alliances, civil society organizations, and teaching bodies, and informing the state’s institutions and all segments of society, that have a role in supporting the democratic process, with keeping on the social distancing, and taking into account health and safety conditions.
In regard to the security procedures of the Commission to preserve the integrity and security of the electoral process, the Supreme Security Committee for Elections is holding its periodic meetings; To discuss the security measures in place to protect the headquarters of electoral offices, registration centers, and mobile teams while performing their job, and to preserve the warehouses of IHEC, the security committee decided to increase numbers of the security forces as well as to form a media office related to the committee, to contribute in the electoral education & awareness process , combating electoral crimes and methods of reporting them as to create a safe environment in preparation for the upcoming electoral event; Being the strongest shield in protecting the security of the country.
The Commission continues the voter update process that began on 2/1/2021 and set to be end on 1/4/2021, in addition to the processes of both, distributing the voters’ cards, and the biometric registration. Statistics indicate that the number of newly updated voters reached to (971,949) voters who updated their data.