Turkish Embassy in Beijing

News from the Turkish Foreign Ministry

Press Release Regarding The Provincial Elections In Iraq , 29.01.2009

Provincial elections will be held in 14 out of 18 Iraqi provinces on 31 January 2009.

These elections are important as they provide an opportunity to strengthen national reconciliation, to establish the culture of democracy and to ensure a fair representation at local level in Iraq. Therefore, all the Iraqi political groups as well as the international community attache great importance to the fair, democratic, transparent and secure conduct of the provincial elections.

The Iraqi High Electoral Commission (IHEC) has asked some countries including Turkey and international organizations to dispatch election observers to Iraq with a view to contributing to the secure, fair, democratic and transparent conduct of the provincial elections. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) has also made an appeal to the international community to this end.

In response to this invitation and appeal, Turkey, which has been trying to contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq as much as it can and which attaches great importance to the strengthening of political reconciliation and the culture of democracy in Iraq, has decided to dispatch observers for provincial elections in that country. Besides Turkey, some other countries and international organizations are also sending election observers to Iraq.

In this context, a total of 30 Turkish observers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and the Turkish universities and academic research institutions will serve as international observers under UNAMI umbrella in the Iraqi provincial elections.

Turkey hopes and wishes that the provincial elections in Iraq be conducted in a fair, democratic and transparent fashion and that they contribute to the strengthening of political reconciliation in that country.