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UN, Iraq To Train Journalists On Election Coverage

The election commission wants to ensure effective press coverage.
BAGHDAD -- Iraq's independent electoral commission wants local journalists to improve the media's role in establishing democracy in the country through more effective coverage of elections, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

Judge Qassim al-Abudi, Iraq's chief electoral officer, told RFI that the electoral commission has signed an agreement with UNESCO to train 100 Iraqi journalists on election coverage in courses held outside the country. He added that similar workshops will also be organized in Iraq.

Abudi said that the electoral commission has signed an agreement with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq to establish a journalism institute in Iraq with a department specializing in election coverage.

The electoral commission last week honored several journalists for their coverage of the provincial elections held earlier this year.

In his comments to RFI, Abudi also referred to the electoral commission's decision to postpone a referendum on the Kurdish region's draft constitution, originally scheduled to be held on July 25. He said that the decision was made for purely technical reasons.

Many observers believe opposition by politicians in Baghdad led to the postponement.