Parliament Media, Mar. 15: Under the auspices of the Council of Representatives (COR) Legal Committee, on Mar. 15 a panel discussion was held on the Provincial and District Council Elections (PDCE) Bill and proposed Second Amendment to Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Law 11 of 2007. The session was attended by Governors and Provincial Council members, President of the Republic Advisor, representatives of civil society organizations, International Electoral Assistance Team Head, and COR members. First Deputy Speaker, Sheikh Hammoody, praised the efforts of the Legal Committee in holding this panel discussion to listen to the suggestions that can be used in enacting the Provincial Elections Bill and the IEC Law. The Legal Committee Chair, Mohsin al-Sa’doon, stressed the role of the IEC in overseeing the elections, and noted that the COR has enacted important laws in the light of the Constitution.

“The local governments have not been able during the past decade to provide the required services for the provinces, so there is a need for legislating the PDCE and IEC Laws that would contribute to building Iraq,” he said.

Governors and Provincial Council (PC) members had the following inputs: 1) The number of councilors should not be changed drastically; 2) As a legislative authority, PC enacts local legislation for the province, and monitors the work of provincial directorates; 3) District and Subdistrict Councils should be kept and not annulled, given their role in running the administrative affairs in Districts and Subdistricts, especially those related to agricultural lands; 4) The mechanism of selecting the electoral commissioners should be sponsored by the UN; and 5) The selection method adopted by the COR was commended by some.