Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the Special Representative for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), met with Iraqi President Barham Salih at Baghdad’s Peace Palace on Sunday.
The two highlighted the importance of establishing suitable conditions for holding early elections on October 10.
“Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert and His Excellency Barham Salih discussed the current political and security situation in the country, including preparations for the upcoming elections. The Special Representative reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to assist the Iraqi authorities with the conduct of credible and transparent elections,” a tweet from UNAMI’s official Twitter account read.
The Iraqi presidential media office released a statement regarding the meeting which read: “the need for concerted efforts to enhance stability in Iraq and ensure the security of its citizens were discussed.”
Several key actors, including former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and the leader of the Iraqi National Accord party, voiced concerns about the conditions surrounding early elections and called for a postponement.
Prominent political parties such as influential Shia cleric Muqtada Sadr’s movement, have also withdrawn from the early elections. Sadr earlier declared that he will not support the formation of any government if the October elections take place.
The Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) announced on several occasions that they will go ahead with the elections at the agreed-upon schedule.