Special Representative Martin Kobler. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

25 September 2012 ? The United Nations envoy in Iraq today welcomed the appointment of eight of the nine members of the Board of Commissioners of the country?s electoral commission, while voicing regret at the absence of women on the panel.

?I welcome this appointment. It now paves the way for the conduct of governorate council elections in early 2013,? said Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General?s Special Representative for Iraq.

He added that the UN remains committed to supporting the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) and its new Board of Commissioners in the preparations and conduct of elections.

?We now urge the Parliament to complete the process to select the last commissioner and the deputies as soon as possible,? said Mr. Kobler, who serves as the head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

While welcoming the appointment, the envoy voiced regret at the absence of women from the Board, and encouraged the Parliament to take proactive action to include women at all levels of public life.

The IHEC, established by the Council of Representatives in May 2007, is responsible for conducting all elections and referendums in Iraq.

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