BAGHDAD , The UN Secretary-General Special Representative for Iraq, Jan Kubic, expressed his rejection and condemnation of defamation campaigns, particularly in social media, targeting women candidates in parliamentary elections, urging political parties and the Iraqi community to stand up to such vulgar acts that only undermine the democratic process.
"Defamation and violence against candidates / women and men/ is a threat to the integrity of the electoral process," the Special Representative said. "Vulgar acts against female posters and assaults on the reputation and honor of female candidates and their families in order to force them to step down are particularly painful for women, the dignity, and reputation of women and their families and affect their participation as voters, candidates, election officials, activists, future political leaders, members of parliament and government. "
"The Special Representative met with a number of women candidates for the House of Representatives elections to discuss this alarming situation and highlighted the role of women while encouraging them to continue their campaigns regardless of the intimidation and threats they face.
He called on women to take action at the highest levels to ensure that the principle of equal opportunity and fair competition is not undermined.
"The active participation of women in elections means the success of the electoral process and democracy in Iraq," said Kubic. "Those who stand behind defamation, and harassment through the internet are trying to intimidate you because they are afraid of educated candidates, actors, qualifications, courage and open-mindedness who rightly demand their space and their role in the political life of Iraq as a decisive factor in positive change, so these elections should remain a competition to select the best candidates on the basis of programs and policies that serve the interests of people honestly and professionally. "
As the depositary of the Electoral Charter of Honor recently signed by political parties, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) called on all political parties and their constituencies throughout Iraq, including the Kurdistan region, to abide by the letter and spirit of this document.
"In this regard, I commend the efforts of the Follow-up Committee for the Electoral Charter of Honor in Baghdad to promote respect and decent dealing among the candidates.
The Committee condemned the targeting of women and men candidates, intimidation of campaign teams, vandalism of posters and unethical acts.
UNAMI joins the Follow-up Committee in calling for all necessary measures to ensure that the campaign is organized in a fair competitive environment and enables voters to choose their representatives without any pressure or threats.
The Mission expressed its full support for the Committee's call on the media and social media to work professionally and to refrain from any slander and to act in line with the preservation of the traditions and values of society that Iraq is proud of them.
He called on all political and governmental leaders to raise their voices against the targeting of female candidates and to discredit them. He also called on political parties, political representatives and civil society, in particular candidates affected by these actions, to use all legal means to protect themselves and the integrity of the elections.
He also urged political leaders to urge their supporters to refrain from any malicious campaigns or actions, while calling on government, electoral and judicial institutions to investigate and take action against such abuses and perpetrators to ensure respect for laws and preserve the dignity, security and safety of candidates so that they can conduct their campaigns without threat and intimidation.
Source: National Iraqi News Agency