Controversy in the parliament over IHEC's decision
Shafaq News/ Controversy emerged shortly after the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) issued a decision precluding Iraq expats from participating in the parliamentary elections.
MP of al-Fatah Coalition, Muhammad al-Bayati, criticized the Commission's decision, "aborting the elections for frauds that took place in the previous ones is implausible. The Commission can cancel the ballot over fraud suspicion. However, it cannot cancel the entire elections and prevent the Iraqis from exercising their rights."
Al-Bayati described the decision as "non-constitutional" and "non-democratic", hinting at "political dimensions" to target certain political figures that are popular among Iraqi expats.
The parliamentarian demanded IHEC to withdraw this "unprofessional" decision that violates the constitution and human rights principles.
On the other side, MP of the Salvation and Development front, Atheel al-Nujaifi, welcomed the Commission's decision, "the Commission's decision is [utterly] professional. With multiple electoral districts, it is nearly impossible to establish this amount of ballots in every embassy. We will need hundreds in every country."
"The last elections were tarred with fraud…Some MPs would not reach the Parliament without the rigging," he added, "this decision only harms the MPs who won the elections by the expats' votes."
IHEC precluded Iraqi expats from participating in the forthcoming legislative elections, scheduled for next October.
IHEC attributed its decision to an array of technical, legal, financial, and health obstacles.
The Commission said that issuing biometric cards for all Iraqi expatriates requires 160 days to be completed, three folds the remainder duration.
IHEC highlighted the administrative security and financial difficulties that may halt the process of establishing current accounts for the Commission's offices abroad.
"Iraqi acts do not apply to Iraqi elections conducted in another country. Legal procedures against violations or Freud attempts will be carried out according to the host country's law."
"Moreover, the current pandemic situation might pose a threat to the safety of the Commission's personnel. The General Secretariat made it clear in the 11th decision for 2021."
The statement urged the Iraqi citizens residing in Iraq to participate in the legislative elections, confirming that the elections are scheduled for 21/10/2021.