1 February 2005

Press Statement by Security Council President on Iraq Elections

NEW YORK, 31 January (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of today’s statement to the press by Security Council President César Mayoral (Argentina):

Members of the Security Council welcome the Iraqi elections completed yesterday, 30 January 2005, and congratulate the Iraqi people on this positive step in the political development of Iraq.  They commend the bravery of the millions of Iraqis who, facing adverse conditions, exercised their right to vote.  Members of the Security Council also appreciate the efforts of the Iraqi Independent Electoral Commission and the thousands of Iraqi poll workers and election observers.

Members of the Security Council also appreciate the advice and support to the Iraqis from Special Representative of the Secretary-General Qazi, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), particularly the Chief of the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division, Carina Perelli, and the United Nations’ lead electoral adviser Carlos Valenzuela, as well as international electoral experts.

As the Secretary-General said, “The success of the election augurs well for the transition process.  The next phase will be one in which the Transitional National Assembly drafts a permanent constitution for Iraq, which is expected to be put to a referendum in October 2005.”  In this context, the members of the Security Council welcome recent statements from Iraqi leaders stressing the importance of reconciliation and national unity.

Members of the Security Council will continue to follow developments in the coming days and affirm their ongoing support for Iraq’s political transition in accordance with Security Council resolution 1546 (2004).

* *** *