The EU representative believes that the low turnout is “a clear signal” that the country’s politicians and elite should listen
The elections held this Sunday in Iraq had a significant deployment of international observers. As the Shiite parties began to release their estimates on who will win the elections, Viola von Cramon, the head of the European Union (EU) observation team, declared that “low turnout means a lot.”
At the end of the day, it is an aspect that neither the representatives of the Muqtada Al Sader movement, who aspire to repeat victory, or the former Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki, who wants to once again be a strong man in the system, had. consider. In von Cramon’s opinion, “this is a clear signal and one can only hope that it will be heard by politicians and the Iraqi elite.” However, the final EU report on what happened in these elections will be available in the coming days.
In addition to the envoys from Brussels, the elections were overseen by the largest team of monitors the United Nations has deployed in elections in recent years. Thus, the number of representatives of the international organization was five times higher than those deployed in the previous Iraq appointment with the polls in 2018.
The participation was, together with the cleaning of the process, one of the key issues for the Government. The shadow of fraud is always present in Iraq and for them the authorities opted this time for a biometric system of personal control to avoid manipulation or double votes. The problem was that technology did not help at times and among the most repeated incidents of the day were technical problems with voter registration.
For example, it was striking to see the modern identity card reading and fingerprint-taking machines installed in ramshackle schools, with half-painted walls and Saddam Hussein-era desks. This is Iraq, where the past and the future coexist, but many forget the present.