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 Watchdog group to assign 3000 observers to Kurdistan 

 Source : Rudaw
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Watchdog group to assign 3000 observers to Kurdistan  11.7.2009 

July 11, 2009

ERBIL-Hewlęr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', —  Yusif Hama-Salih, the manager of Rozh Network declared that they will seriously watch the elections and will disseminate the reports of the results inside and outside the country.

"We will collect data and watch the elections by PVT system, the most sophisticated and developed kind of observation and data dissemination system, which is to be introduced in the Middle East for the first time", he said.

Rozh Network which embraces almost 80 NGOs, was founded in Amman in 2004.

It watched the 2005 and 2009 elections in Iraq and Kurdistan, apart from its participation in watching the presidential elections of Poland and Yemen, and the parliamentary elections of Lebanon.

Hama-Salih believed that the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), in cooperation with the NGOs and the international observers, can avoid fraud, violations and interference in the elections and pave the way for a transparent elections process.

"Besides, all the rival political entities in the elections will have their own representatives in all the elections bases", said Hama-Salih, "And this in itself is a guarantee for avoiding swindle".

"Many officers of the commission are impartial people and work independently", he added, commenting on the rumor that the officers of the IHEC support the parties in authority.

Despite the word that many foreigner observers, apart from the 100 countries who will send their people to watch the elections in Kurdistan, an official from one of the participating lists in the elections believed that the presence of these observers to watch the elections cannot avoid rigging the results of the elections.

"This is because Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) will not let the international and local observers to watch the elections as it ought to be", said the official "so, the observers cannot avoid fraud",.

However, Hama-Salih stated that in the previous elections there was no obstacle for the observers and they watched the elections freely.

This time the elections in Kurdistan will be quite different from the previous elections as the greatest number of the observers will be available to watch the process. At the same time, the officials of IHEC have declared that they have taken firm measures to avoid rigging the results.

"We have trained three thousand people to watch the elections by PVT system which is the newest and the most developed system of surveillance in the Middle East. We will continually train them by holding workshops and then we will distribute them among the election bases, Zakho through Kfri", Hama-Salih stated, adding "We have a subtle plan for this purpose".

Recently, during the beginning of the elections campaign, the IHEC has received dozens of complaints from the participating lists.

"We observe not only the elections on its due date but all the stages of the process till the end. All over the world the elections campaign is not totally perfect and free from shortcomings. There will be complaints. We advise the lists to respect the rules and laws of the commission and consider the feelings of their rivals and people into account so that they can achieve their votes", said Hama-Salih.

Parliamentary and presidential elections in Kurdistan region in Iraq's north will take place on July 25.

Five alliances and 16 parties are competing for 111 seats in the region’s Parliament.

Copyright, respective author or news agency, Rudaw net 


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