In its final comprehensive assessment, the European Union’s Election Observation Mission to Iraq has described October’s national elections as “largely peaceful and orderly.”
Chief observer Viola von Cramon said in a press release that “the conclusion in the mission’s final report is that elections were technically well-managed, competitive, and the largely calm electoral campaigns enabled voters to make informed choices.”
“Voting was largely peaceful and orderly, and voters were generally able to freely express their will,” she added.
However, “undue restrictions” that arose from the new law were highlighted by the mission, which was said to have affected the process and offered recommendations for future elections.
Among those restrictions were “unregulated campaign spending,” which “negatively affected the level playing field.”
On October 10, Iraq held early elections in response to one of the core demands of a nationwide, pro-reform protest movement that erupted in 2019.
The elections were the fifth of its kind for a full-term government since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
Voters were able to elect individual candidates rather than cast their ballot for a party list, which paved the way for independent MPs to win seats, under a new electoral law. A total of 3,249 candidates vied for 329 seats in the Iraqi Parliament.