|Wikileaks:||View 05BAGHDAD4235 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||PGOV PHUM KDEM KISL PNAT IZ|
|Redacted:||This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BAGHDAD 004235 SIPDIS DEPARTMENT FOR S/S-O: IRAQI REFERENDUM MONITORING GROUP E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/15/2015 TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, KDEM, KISL, PNAT, IZ SUBJECT: IRAQI REFERENDUM 001 (OCTOBER 15) Classified By: Political Counselor Robert S. Ford for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D). 1. (S) Summary. As of midday October 15, the Iraqi constitutional referendum generally was proceeding operating smoothly with problems most notably in Anbar and Ninewa; in both governorates it appears many polling stations did not open. The Independent Election Commission of Iraq (IECI) reported that as of 0900 hrs, 5879 of 6293 polling stations nationwide are operating. IECI said that it was still investigating the status of the remaining 414 stations. Large voter turnout is reported in Mosul, Fallujah and Kirkuk. Most voters interviewed indicate that they plan to vote for the draft constitution. The referendum is not completely without incident. The night before the referendum, the press reported insurgent attacks at polling centers in the Dora, al-Ilam and Bayaah districts of Baghdad with no injuries. In Baqubah, Diyala an insurgent attack on a polling center left a policeman dead and 4 injured. Al-Jazeera TV reported that insurgents set fire to the Iraqi Islamic Party headquarters located in Bayji, Salah ad-Din. There is an unconfirmed report of a suicide bomber in Mosul. IECI is pleased with the voting process through mid-morning, and they are working to resolve problems at some centers, e.g. voting lists shifted to another center, lack of materials. End Summary. ------- BAGHDAD ------- IECI reports good turnout in the capital. Poloffs visited the Karada and Karkh districts, midmorning. Situation was quiet and orderly. A crowd of young men proudly showed us their inked fingers and said people in their district would not be deterred from voting. POLMILOFF visited Sadr City with 3ID and found the atmosphere to be festive and crowded. IP's seemed mostly concerned about their ability to return home on time due to the number of people voting. ---- IECI ---- 2. (U) As of 1100, the IECI reported that it could confirm that 5879 of 6239 polling stations are open. UN Elections Assistance Division (EAD) officer told PolOff that the voting process through mid-morning had run well. He said that the IECI is a working to resolve problems at some centers where voting lists shifted to another center, there are a lack of materials at certain centers and that some police and military not able to vote because they are stationed out of their district. ---------------------------- INCIDENTS AND IRREGULARITIES ---------------------------- 3. (U) There was an unconfirmed report of a suicide bomber in South Mosul and hostage taking in Eastern Ramadi. Al-Sharquiyah TV reported that during the night on Friday October 14, in Baghdad, insurgents attacked four polling centers in the Dora, al-Ilam and Bayaah districts. Gunfire exchanged between insurgents and polling center guards did not result in any injuries or deaths. However, in Ba'qubah an insurgent attack on a polling center resulted in the death of one policeman and four injured. Al Jazeera TV reported in Fallujah that insurgents set fire to the Iraqi Islamic Party Headquarters. Al Farhat TV reported that Karbala Iraqi military troops fought with Iraqi police as they tried to enter the city to take up their positions at polling centers. ---------------------- POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS ---------------------- 4. (U) News reports indicated that President Talabani was the first person to vote at the Convention Center polling station. Prime Minister Jaafari was not far behind. Both made positive statements about the ancipated success of the referendum. Television reporting indicated that the Muslim Ulema Council (MUC) may have confused its voters with its stance on the referendum. MUC Spokesman Issam al-Rawi told one television correspondent that the MUC was split between those who wanted a boycott of the referendum and those who urged a "No" vote. Rawi said that he personally would go to the polls and vote no and that the MUC had not explicitly forbidden voting. Umma Party leader Mithal Alusi, himself a Sunni Arab from Anbar, lambasted the Ulema Council and National Dialogue Council in an interview on al-Hurra. He asked why those who had called for a no vote had not produced an alternative constitution. They simply want to block the entire political process, he answered, and they have no alternative to offer but a return to fascism and massacres. Alusi joked that if groups like the MUC were to write a constitution of their own its theme would be "Unity, Freedom, and Socialism," the infamous Ba'ath Party slogan. ------------------ PROVINCIAL TIDBITS ------------------ 5. (C) Color from the provinces: -- Al Anbar: Of the 207 polling stations in Al-Anbar, 144 were open as of 0900 hrs. (NOTE: In anticipation that not all sites would be open, the IECI rules allow Anbaris to vote at any station in the governorate.) Al-Anbar surge team reported that there are no problems at the polling locations. Coordination with IP has been excellent. Fallujah Chief of Police told the team late night Ramadan activities may have kept many in bed this morning. He said he expected increased voter participation as the day progresses. Imams encouraged participation at Friday prayers but most did not specifically call for a "No" vote. -- Ninewa: 236 of 520 polling stations are open. Mayor of Rabiya complained to an election monitor that some stations lacked voter materials. IECI is investigating. Mayor of Qaraqosh told election monitors that everything was running smoothly in his district. A Regional Coordinator reported that people mulling about downtown Mosul complained they did not have n oppotuniyto rad te rft cntituton before voting. Council member of the Chaldean Democratic Union Party told PolOff that there has been a good turnout and no security problems in Telesqof, Telkaif, Batnaya, and Alnosh. -- Kirkuk: REO reports that the security plan in Kirkuk seems to be working with large numbers of people voting without incident. -- Salah ah-Din: IECI reports all polling stations are open. -- Babil/Hillah: The Hillah Surge Team reported that spontaneous celebrations broke out in the streets as journalists traveled to the polling sites. The mayor of Hillah told the team that there are fairly large numbers across south central, with reportedly large numbers of female voters. Early morning reports from local Hillah polling stations indicate heavy initial voter turnout amid equally heavy security. Police are searching everyone, including IECI staff, entering the voting centers, according to REO Hillah staff on the scene. Local mosques are actively encouraging a "yes" vote. Political party representatives are present at the polling stations along with local observers. -- Diyala: IECI reports that all polling stations are open. PolOff reported that voter turnout is so high in the Khalis district that they opened two new stations at the existing Hi Gin and Jadeida polling centers. -- Wasit: REO reported that in Wasit Province, turnout has been "good", according to a local contact who visited several polling sites in provincial capital Kut. About 20-30 people were in line at each of the four polling places visited. No security problem has been reported. About 4,000 Iraqi army recruits who were training in Numaniyah where there's a massive military base were unable to vote because they were not registered in Wasit Province, according to an IECI official. The recruits were reportedly "very upset". -- Basrah: At the al-Ashaws polling center 945010 there was an average wait was 15 minutes to vote. The unalphabetized registration list has caused delays in processing at many centers. Most people interviewed indicated that plan to vote Yes on the constitution. Many complained about the 1-2 km distance to reach the polling center to vote. Several old women chanted at the Mroj polling center, "We Win, We Win." -- Karbala: A police officer from the Karbala Joint Coordination Command (JCC) reported that "many people" were streaming toward polling sites and things are "very quiet". In addition, Iraqi army forces are roving throughout the province. Khalilzad
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