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Indybay Feature
Mon Jan 17 2005
United Iraqi Alliance Likely To Win Election As Violence Keeps Sunnis Away From Polls
Iraq's Flawed Elections
1/31/2005: I remember the "elections" that used to happen in the time of the Iraqi national dictator government, people were going in millions at those times too. ....They used to tell us that anyone who doesn't go to vote will be punished, and that the voting ballots have secret numbers that the governmnet can read and discover who said NO.... If anyone thinks that the current elections are fundamentally different from the ones used to happen before the war, you are wrong. Maybe at that time Iraqis had one fake option, and now they have 100 fake options. The current elections will open the doors of hell. They'll open the doors for internal conflicts, and they'll increase the attacks on the occupation forces during the next year, when everyone sees how bush administration has no intention in pulling out from Iraq and paying compensation for the illegal war they started. I really wish that Iraq will have the chance to hold real and sovereign elections one day.
- Raed Jarrar "Raed In The Middle" read more
Democracy Now Reports: 1   2   3   4   5 | Mixed Reaction in Saudi Arabia | Votes are counted by lamp light | Some Just Voted for Food | Iraq elections set stage for deeper crisis of US occupation regime

1/30/2005: bombs and mortar attacks faced many Iraqis who went to the polls Sunday. Baghdad bore the brunt and 13 people were killed in eight suicide attacks launched in rapid succession at voter queues. The US embassy came under rocket fire with several casualties reported and a British military transport plane was shot down by a surface to air missile killing up to 15 British troops. Voter turnout was high in the Kurdish north and the Shiite south but turnout was much lower in Sunni areas with some reports that that few if any Iraqis were able to vote in Samarra (a city of over 200,000). The Shi'ite-led slate #169 supported by Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani "is expected to dominate the poll." There are claims of a 60% turnout (of the relatively small small percentage of Iraqis registered to vote) but "with international monitors mostly staying away for fear of kidnapping, it was impossible to assess the fairness of the election or accuracy of the turnout estimates."
Eyewitness: Baghdad | Hollow Election Held on Bloody Day | Summary of attacks on election day | Beyond the bullets, a new constitution | Vote For Food | Voter Turnout Won't Be Enough to Legitimise Election

1/28/2005: US troops have sealed Iraq's frontiers and imposed other draconian security measures in preparation for Sunday's election. Many Iraqis in Iraq will not be allowed to vote whereas by voting by expatriates in the US and other countries has already started. When Iraqis go into polling places they will not be given a choice of candidates, instead they will be choosing numbers from a list with no name listed next to them. Each number will correspond to a slate put together by a political party but in most cases the parties have not released the names of their candidates to prevent assassinations. The United Iraqi Alliance's slate #169 looks likely to be the winner of the election due to backing by Sistani and other Shiite clerics.
Washington's Ballots (and Bullets) | The Iraq Elections: A repeat performance | Some See Hope, Others Civil War | Editorials From Al-Ahram | Chaos, Frustration and Extreme Violence | Early Elections, Sham Elections | Iranian and Saudi cash weighs against local parties

1/24/2005 "The senior leaders of the United Iraqi Alliance, the coalition of mostly Shiite groups that is expected to capture the most votes in the election Sunday, have agreed that the Iraqi whom they nominate to be the country's next prime minister would be a layperson and not an Islamic cleric....The decision to exclude clerics from the government appears to mean that Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, a cleric who is the chief of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the scion of a prominent religious family and an oft-mentioned candidate for prime minister, would be relegated to the background." Read More
Bombs, Zarqawi, and Sistani's Constitution | Arab candidates pull out in Kirkuk protest | Dahr Jamail: Election Divides a Nation

1/23/2005: "The Shi'ite Muslim cleric tipped to become prime minister of Iraq after this Sunday's elections declared yesterday it would be the duty of the new government to demand the withdrawal of US forces 'as soon as possible' ... 'No people in the world accepts occupation and nor do we accept the continuation of American troops in Iraq,' said Mr al-Hakim" Read More
Iraq exile vote runs into trouble | Rift in Iraq electoral commission | Iraq: The power to resist

1/17/2005: There are reports that Grand Ayatullah Sistani has endorsed the United Iraqi Alliance's slate #169 which is headed by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. Abdul al-Hakim is the party head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). SCIRI is a moderate Shiite political party that is thought to have close ties with Iran. SCIRI used to be known under Saddam as the The Supreme Council for the Islamic Resistance in Iraq and controls a militia called the Badr Brigade. SCIRI was headed by Baqir al-Hakim until he was assassinated in 2003 at which point his brother Abdul Aziz al-Hakim took over. Abdul Hakim has done well for himself under the US occupation. He was a member of the American-appointed Iraq Interim Governing Council and served as its president in December 2003. He currently lives in the house that used to belong to Tariq Aziz before the US invasion.

While Hakim has emerged as the most likely next ruler of Iraq, the US backed Allawi (and his Iraqi National Accord party) has been outspending Hakim's United Iraqi Alliance and has even openly bribed members of the press. While many Sunni parties have always said they will boycott the election, in recent weeks 53 additional political parties and organizations as well as 30 individuals have asked their names to be dropped from the election lists in a bid to show their rejection of elections under US occupation.

Sadr urges Bush not interfere with Iraq elections | Iraq: Curfew Measures on Election Day | Coalition admits on eve of election: ‘the battle for Iraq may never be won’ | Aide to Sistani killed | Iraq: Eyeing the polls | Iraq's power supply sinks to record low

Previous Indybay Coverage Of The Iraqi Election
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