Over 200 applications received for Iraqi governorate election slots – UN mission

21 February 2008More than 200 applications have been received for the eight remaining directorships of Iraq’s governorate election offices (GEOs), the United Nations assistance mission for that country (UNAMI) announced today in Baghdad. The number of applications received “proves that Iraqis are ready to participate in the selection process and in determining their own future,” Staffan de Mistura, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative in Iraq, said at a press conference. To date, according to UNAMI, 224 applications had been submitted for positions in the seven governorates of Basra, Diala, Karbala, Najaf, Nenawa, Wassit and Baghdad, where there are two offices, to help implement legislation calling for governorate elections before 1 October. The mission added that 22 women had submitted applications for the posts, which must be received before the deadline of 28 February.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 the mission last week urged an improved selection process.“The applications process for these positions is an initial step towards transparent and professional selection of the remaining eight governorate electoral offices directors,” Mr. Mistura said.

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