International Foundation for Electoral Systems

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Elections and Legal Specialist

Job Overview

IFES seeks an election and legal expert to advise the IHEC on preparations and conduct of electoral operations such as voter registration, elections planning, staff training, general and special voters polling procedures, elections technology solutions for electoral operations, elections security, and post-elections activities. This is a long-term staff position based in Baghdad with occasional in-country travel.

The overall objective of IFES’s current electoral assistance program is to support the Independent High Elections Commission (IHEC) in planning and conducting credible elections and ensuring integrity of the electoral process. IFES Iraq Provincial Election Activity (IPEA) project provides technical and operational assistance to the IHEC.

Job Responsibilities:
  • Provide continuous technical advice and assistance to develop the technical capacity of the IHEC in the relevant areas of the electoral process.
  • Provide advice and assistance in drafting of amendments to the electoral law, rules and regulations to ensure that international standards are met, while also incorporating the particular circumstances and context of Iraq.
  • Build the capacity of the IHEC Board of Commissioners and Legal Department staff with regard to drafting legal provisions and regulations.
  • Based on international best practices, provide advice on regulations regarding an inclusive and transparent conduct of elections including fraud mitigation.
  • Provide advice on electoral issues and formulation of regulations/procedures, based on international best practices, including:
    • Strengthening inclusion of women as voters and candidates
    • Transparency: fraud mitigation and models and mechanisms to regulate and monitor campaign finances
    • Electoral dispute resolution mechanisms and electoral complaints adjudication
    • Legal advice regarding voter registration regulations and procedures
    • Drafting of codes of conduct and other regulations for candidates, political parties, media and observers
  • Work closely with the IFES Advisors on the drafting of procedures and training manuals for the relevant IHEC Departments.
  • Make presentations as necessary on electoral legal issues to the IHEC and other electoral stakeholders.
  • Perform legal research and analysis and assist in preparing legal opinions, studies, briefs, and reports.
  • Assist in the preparation of work plans, progress reports, M&E data and reports, and other documentation or reports as required;
  • Providing interpretation and translation for international IFES staff members.
Skills and Specifications

  • Team player with excellent interpersonal/representational skills;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills both in Arabic and English;
  • Ability to build strong relationship with counterparts, focusing on impact and results;
  • Ability to lead effectively, mentoring as well as conflict resolution skills;
  • Proven networking, team-building, organizational, and communication skills;
  • Capacity to work under pressure, manage stress and adapt to rapidly evolving situations;
  • Sound time management and organizational skills with the ability to handle multiple tasks.

Education and Other Qualifications

  • Masters degree in law, political science or related fields;
  • 7+ years prior experience in legal issues and/or electoral technical assistance;
  • Experience in different electoral systems and election dispute resolution systems;
  • Familiarity with international standards and best practices concerning electoral legislation;
  • Strong legal drafting skills;
  • Familiarity with political, economic, and social issues in Iraq and the region;
  • Experience in organizing and leading trainings;
  • Fluency in English and Arabic (oral and written) required;
  • Excellent interpersonal and mentoring skills;
  • Strong diplomatic and negotiating skills;
  • Ability to detect problems and produce acceptable solutions;
  • Experience in working with USAID-funded programs is a plus.

Language Skills: Fluency in written and spoken English and written and spoken Arabic language

Travel: Occasional in-country travel may be required.

Physical Requirements / Work Environment: Standard office work environment. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

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