Thursday, 10 May 2018 20:00

SRSG Kubiš Meets Officials in Salaheddin Governorate, Stresses Importance of Election Participation

Tikrit, Iraq, 10 May 2018 – Visiting Salaheddin Governorate, one of the prime victims of the terror of al-Qaida and Dae’sh, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Ján Kubiš, stressed the critical importance of holding the forthcoming parliamentary elections in a safe and secure environment free of intimidation and pressure from any side.

The visit to Tikrit and Samarra on Wednesday, 9 May 2018 is part of a tour of governorates across the country to assess the pre-election atmosphere and the state of preparations of the process, and in the longer term to assess the needs and priorities for UN assistance in the post-election period and the phase after the military defeat of Dae’sh terrorists.

In Tikrit, the Special Representative met with the Governor and Provincial Council (PC) Chair accompanied by other PC members. They focused on the general security and political situation in the Governorate, and the state of election preparations, specifically security arrangements for the elections and the voting by the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The ways to move forward on return of IDPs and a community and tribal reconciliation in Tuz Khurmatu and other areas in Salaheddin were discussed. The interlocutors, while acknowledging generally good preparations for the elections and calm atmosphere, raised concerns regarding instances of intimidation of voters from formations affiliated with the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF). The Special Representative also met with the director of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) Office.

Mr. Kubiš highlighted the priority of holding elections with strong participation and said it is the voters’ right in a democracy to freely choose their representatives. He encouraged the people to vote wisely and send to the Council of Representatives (CoR) representatives that will work for change, for reforms, for justice, for rule of law. He affirmed the intention of the UN to continue providing assistance with targeted interventions in specific fields important for return of IDPs, rehabilitation and reconstruction, social progress and protection as well as development, where assistance is most needed in the post-Dae’sh phase.

In Samarra, Mr. Kubiš met with the Mayor and was briefed by the Samarra Operations Commander on security arrangements for the electoral process, and potential security challenges.

He visited the Shrine of Imam Ali al-Hadi and Imam Hassan al-Askari and the 9th century Grand Mosque and its famous Malwiya minaret, Islamic sites that speak of Iraq’s proud past. The Shrine of the Imams, built in 944, was destroyed by al-Qaida terrorists in 2006, but has been rebuilt, and is currently being expanded.

“The rebuilding of the golden dome of the shrine is a shining light of hope and encouragement for Iraq’s future,” Mr. Kubiš said. “Terrorists cannot prevail. They cannot win over the resilience of the Iraqi people who are determined to rebuild united Iraq as their common home of peace, tolerance and dignity for all, to preserve their common heritage and a millenary civilization and culture, so important for Iraq, Islam and the whole humanity.”

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United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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