UN calls for electoral reform in Iraq
UN mission calls for the release of detained protesters and punishment for the use of excessive force against demonstrators
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on Sunday announced the need for timely, tangible results in the government’s response to the protests that began in early October and offered a roadmap to address some of the demonstrators’ demands.
UNAMI issued a statement indicating that within a week, authorities should release all protesters detained since October 1 and expedite efforts to identify and prosecute those responsible for the use of excessive force against demonstrators..
The statement says about the need for public appeals to those who have influence on Iraq in this and other regions of the world to respect the sovereignty of the country and not interfere in its internal affairs..
UNAMI also called on the country’s political leadership to complete the development of a framework for electoral reform and anti-corruption in the next two weeks. The mission also said the constitutional review committee should continue to work on possible amendments within three months..
United States Supported UN Proposals.
A White House statement released Sunday evening expresses grave concern over attacks on protesters and Internet shutdowns in Iraq.
«Despite the use of violence against him, resulting in loss of life and denial of access to the Internet, the Iraqi people have made their voice heard by calling for elections and electoral reform», – said a spokesman for the White House.
Iraqi Human Rights Commission Says At Least 319 People Have Been Killed Since Protests.
Demonstrators complain about corruption, lack of basic services and jobs, and power outages. Iraqi leaders have proposed some reforms, but protesters have largely rejected them, demanding that Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi and others step down.
Abdel Mahdi on Sunday met with Iraqi President Barham Saleh and Speaker of Parliament Mohammed Halbusi.
The Prime Minister’s office said that the participants in the meetings reaffirmed the need to avoid violence against peaceful demonstrators and impose strict liability for excessive violence by security officials. The report also notes that they discussed the need for electoral reforms that would reduce the chances of the emergence of party monopolies and expand opportunities for youth to participate in parliament and its decision-making.