Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Iraqis abroad cast their votes!

Voting outside Iraq has begun for 1.5 million registered voters living in 15 countries. Those voter's ballots will decide much of the 45 compensatory seats in the future parliament.
The first votes were cast in Australia then Jordan, UAE, Syria, Iran and several countries in Europe.

The Iraqia TV reporter from Berlin said that turnout was pretty good today considering that it is not in the weekend like it was back in January. (Early voting in Berlin:VIDEO)
It is also reported that turnout level in Amman/Jordan were hundreds of thousands of Iraqis live are above what was originally anticipated. Similar good news is also coming from Dubai/UAE and Lebanon and they all say that turnout is higher than it was last time.

In the London’s office there were some troubles in the past few days; a conflict erupted between some Kurds and Islamists loyal to the UIA and each team was trying to take over the office and get more of the important positions. The IECI condemned these acts and described the incident as “occupying the office by people who do not believe in the principles of the IECI and firing the legitimate officials…”
However, it seems that the conflict was solved as the early news clips coming from London showed. The process looked smooth and neat and although all parties will have to stop campaigning as of 7 am Wednesday morning (correction to yesterday’s post) the administration of the main office in London prohibited any campaigning activities 100 meters from the door of the office.


In another regard, there has been a dispute over voter registration in Kirkuk where 200,000 new voters have been added to the lists, most of them are Kurds who were expelled during the 1980s.
Turkmen and Arabs raised several objections accusing the Kurds of trying to change the demography of this vital province.
Local observers estimate the actual number of Kurds who have the right to return to Kirkuk by 60,000 and they say that 200,000 is a much exaggerated figure.

The IECI announced that the papers of those 200,000 voters will be verified again and if they show the required papers and IDs that prove they’re from Kirkuk, then they will be allowed to vote in this province.

Security wise, the ministry of interior announced that it has been arranged with the authorities in Jordan to allow 100 humanitarian cases to pass the closed borders every day.
Mizhir al-Dulaimi who headed a list from Ramadi was assassinated yesterday. Members of his list and some other Sunni parties are accusing the Badr brigade of being behind the assassination but that’s probably not a legitimate accusation because Ramadi is a pure Sunni city and Badr has no power in it.
Actually it is more likely that the assassination was carried out by al-Qaeda who warned from participating in the election two day ago.
It is well know that al-Qaeda has a strong base in Ramadi so accusing them will be much more logical.
Al-Dulaimi was a supporter of the “Iraqi resistance” and he insisted more than once that this resistance has to be distinguished from terrorism. He also declared from Cairo during the reconciliation conference that there were certain parties in the government who were planning to arrest him when he returns to Baghdad.

On the other hand, Mr. Haider al-Sadr was kidnapped along with two of his escorts and the convoy of MP Jalal Addin al-Sagheer was attacked by a roadside bomb but he survived the attack.

The second man in the National Accord Front Mr. Tariq al-Hashimi urged the “Iraqi resistance” to stop all their military operations to let the elections take place in peaceful environment…I hope they listen.

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