UN mission begins selection interviews for eight Iraqi governorate slots

After the applications were vetted, candidates are now being interviewed by a UNAMI panel of international experts, who will create a shortlist of applicants to be forwarded to the Council of Representatives, who in turn will select five to send to the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC).“By ensuring transparency and professionalism in the process of selecting these candidates we hope the Iraqi Parliament and the Independent High Electoral Commission will accomplish one of the number of conditions for holding successful elections,” said Staffan De Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNAMI.Concerns had been raised by the UN and many political leaders in Iraq about the way in which the previous selection of 11 of Iraq’s 19 governorate election office directors were conducted in September 2007, and last month, UNAMI urged an improved selection process.Over 800 valid applications – including submissions by 54 women – for the eight GEO directorship positions in seven Iraqi governorates were received by UNAMI’s website.The professional qualifications of candidates short-listed for the Karkh and Rusafa GEOs of Baghdad are being evaluated by a three-member UNAMI expert team, and the 14-day interview process for the other six GEOs of Nenawa, Basra, Wasit, Najaf, Kerbala and Diyala is expected to be completed by 25 March.The entire process has been open to observers, who have so far included Iraqi parliamentarians, IHEC representatives and an Iraqi group from the Al-Yaqeen Center. 13 March 2008Selection interviews have begun for the remaining eight directorships of Iraq’s governorate election offices (GEOs), the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) announced today.

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