The UN secretary-general’s special representative for Iraq, on Tuesday, stressed the importance of the parliamentary elections in the country, scheduled for May 12.

“Credible and acceptable elections with high voter turnout, including in the liberated areas and in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and with specific measures to facilitate women’s participation, will empower the new government to implement reforms, improve accountability and promote inclusiveness and reconciliation, between different components and groups on Iraq,” Jan Kubis, told the Security Council.

The Independent High Electoral Commission has registered 205 political parties, and 27 political coalitions are approved to contest in the elections, he noted.

It is essential that the elections will confirm the vision of Iraqis working together across the sectarian and ethnic divides, in pursuing the needed political, economic and social reforms, based on the principles of citizenship with equal rights, justice and opportunity for all, and good governance, he said.

Kubis, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, cautioned that, a number of challenges remain.

The voluntary and dignified return of internally displaced persons (IDP’s) is an issue critical for the success and credibility of the elections, he noted. In the months ahead, the government expects as many as two million of the 2.5 million IDP’s will return home.

Although the Daesh terrorist group has been defeated, the organisation and its sleeper cells continue to post a threat, he warned.

Observation of the elections, both domestic and international, will be a vital component in fostering credibility and acceptance of the results, said Kubis.

Source: NAM News Network