Friday, 3 October 2008

Staffan de Mistura Urges Reinstating Article 50 in the Election Law

UN Special Representative for Iraq
Urges Reinstating Article 50 in the Election Law

Baghdad-2 October 2008-
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Iraq (SRSG) Staffan de Mistura said the United Nations is concerned at the extraction of Article 50 bearing on minority rights, from the provincial election law passed on 24 September 2008.

Mr. de Mistura said, “I was surprised and disappointed that Article 50 was not included in the provincial elections law.” He added, “Article 50 has the backing of minority groups, political blocs and UNAMI and should now be reinstated into the legislation as soon as possible so minorities can participate in the upcoming elections to be held sometime before 31 January 2009.”

The SRSG emphasized that protecting the minorities human rights in Iraq, is fundamental to a democratic Iraq. He said, “Article 50 is a strong indication Iraq is a nation ready to protect the political rights of minorities as founded in the Constitution.”

He reiterated that UNAMI will continue in its consultations with political leaders and minority groups to ensure that Article 50 can now be reintroduced into the Council of Representatives when they return after Eid al-Fitr, so the article can be passed as soon as possible.

He said that UNAMI shares the concern expressed by Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki and other Iraqi leaders over the extraction, and calls on all political blocs to reintroduce Article 50 into the law, no later than 15 October, when the Independent High Electoral Commission opens candidate nomination.

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