Later this month, Iraqis will go to the polls to elect new members of the Council of Representatives, the country’s legislative body, as well as members of provincial assemblies in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Preparations for the April 30 elections have been turbulent to date, with looming questions regarding the ability of displaced Iraqis to participate in the polls; the controversial disqualification of certain candidates; and the now-rescinded resignation of the commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission, the body charged with organizing the polls. Sectarian rhetoric and ethnic appeals have also characterized the campaign messages of certain candidates and party coalitions.
NDI’s Iraq-based Resident Director, Elvis Zutic, will discuss the poll’s key findings and his views on the country’s political, electoral and security contexts. Discussants will complement his assessment with analyses of the importance of these elections, and how the outcome of the polls will impact Iraq’s broader development progress and its relationships with regional and international actors.
Elvis Zutic Resident Director, NDI Iraq
Sarhang Hamasaeed Senior Program Officer, Middle East and North Africa Programs, USIP
Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad Former Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Nations Counselor, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Manal Omar, Moderator Associate Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, USIP