Friday, January 30, 2009


NYT: Early Voting in Iraq is mostly smooth. In a way, that is unquestionably true. Here's an example.

A source in the Iraqi citizenship directorate told AlArab there was fraud in the special elections that were held on Wednesday. The source, who preferred not to have his actual name mentioned, but who is an officer with the rank of Major, said: "We were asked to provide special authentication documents [probably meaning powers of attorney or something like that], both those of us who are members of the general citizenship directorate and those in the subordinate agencies. And after we provided those documents that was the end of it, and we were not asked to go to any polling place to cast our votes. " The source added: "All members of the directorate in Baghdad are frustrated and in turmoil. We notified the director of the general citizenship directorate Yasin al-Yasiri, but he did not budge. Then a group of members undertook to notify some of the international press, but their response was that we should carry out a demonstration in which we repeated these facts. What prevents us from demonstrating is the authority of the director of citizenship, by which he is able to bring any charges, because he belongs to a bloc that has a special weight in the government, and it is the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution, led by Abdulaziz alHakim. [The source] concluded that their votes--and there were about 3000--were sold to that bloc.


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