UN chief congratulates Iraq on reaching elections compromise

10:00, December 08, 2009      

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UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Monday congratulated Iraqis for overcoming their differences and reaching a compromise on the elections, a statement said here.

The statement, issued by Ban's spokesman, said: "The secretary-general congratulates the Iraqi Council of Representatives on finalizing amendments to the Election Law and commends Iraqi leaders and parliamentarians for overcoming their differences and reaching a compromise."

"The way is now paved to hold national elections in Iraq on a date to be determined by the Iraqi Presidency Council," the statement said. "The secretary-general firmly believes that these elections will be an important step forward for Iraq's political and democratic progress."

"The secretary-general is pleased that his special representative for Iraq, Ad Melkert, and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) were able to assist Iraqi political leaders in reaching this important agreement," the statement said.

"The secretary-general reaffirms the United Nations commitment to provide support and technical assistance to the Independent High Electoral Commission during the electoral process and encourages the Iraqi people and all political parties to participate in a process that will shape their country's future and contribute to national reconciliation," the statement added.

Iraqi lawmakers late on Sunday finally approved a new version of a stalled electoral law, paving the way for parliamentary polls to be held early next year.

However, no definitive date has yet been set for the election which had originally been scheduled for Jan. 16 but was delayed because of the failure by lawmakers to agree on the new law.

The election, the second national vote since the American-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, is considered a crucial step toward consolidating Iraq's stability and security and securing a complete U.S. military exit by the end of 2011.

Source: Xinhua
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