Baghdad Washington has called for increasing the number of United Nations personnel working in Iraq to the maximum, before the elections scheduled for October 10.

The US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield, told a session of the UN Security Council that there is a need to maximize the number of UN staff on the ground before the elections.

She added: We reiterate our appeals to the Iraqi government to take all measures to protect the election observation team of the United Nations Mission, European Union observers, and domestic observers to deter election fraud and contribute to achieving its integrity and transparency.

She added: We fully trust the United Nations mission, the impartiality of the head of the mission, Jeanine Plasschaert, her expertise, and her serious commitment to a better future for Iraqis.

She called on Iraq once again to redouble its efforts to create a safe electoral environment for candidates and voters, stressing her country’s support for a free and fair electoral process.

More than 130 international staff members within the United Nations mission will monitor the elections, according to what the Electoral Commission announced in early August.

The head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Jenin Plasschaert, had warned of the consequences of electoral fraud.

In her speech before the UN Security Council, she said: The credibility of the upcoming October elections will be essential for the future of Iraq, and the responsibility for its success rests with the concerned Iraqi parties and authorities.

3,523 candidates will participate in the elections, representing 44 electoral alliances and 267 political parties, along with independents, to compete for 329 seats in Parliament.


Source: National Iraqi News Agency