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U.S. Observers To Monitor Iraqi Kurdish Elections

President Masud Barzani
President Masud Barzani
BAGHDAD -- The United States says it is sending observers to monitor the parliamentary elections scheduled for July 25 in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

U.S. regional reconstruction team leader Lucy Tamlyn said in Irbil that "the United States is going to be actively involved in monitoring the elections" in the Kurdish region.

She added that U.S. organizations such as the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute are helping to train "future women political leaders."

Tamlyn said that in case of irregularities there is a mechanism in place for recording violations "and the Iraqi high electoral commission has a complaint procedure."

She also underlined the importance that "all sides conduct their activities peacefully, citizens be allowed to express their views without fear, intimidation, or harassment."

Kurdistan regional government President Masud Barzani and Prime Minister Necharvan Barzani have each received a letter from Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman saying they hope the election will set a new "gold standard in the region as free, fair, and competitive, unmarred by the interference, intimidation and manipulation that has too often occurred in the Middle East."

The Kurdish electorate will also vote on a new regional constitution on July 25.