US embassy cable - 05BAGHDAD4311

SUNNI ARAB REACTION TO REFERENDUM RESULTS: SOME WORRY, SOME SCREAM FRAUD

Identifier: 05BAGHDAD4311
Wikileaks: View 05BAGHDAD4311 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Baghdad
Created: 2005-10-19 13:23:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PNAT PHUM IZ Sunni Arab Iraqi Islamic Party
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 BAGHDAD 004311 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/18/2015 
TAGS: PGOV, PNAT, PHUM, IZ, Sunni Arab, Iraqi Islamic Party 
SUBJECT: SUNNI ARAB REACTION TO REFERENDUM RESULTS:  SOME 
WORRY, SOME SCREAM FRAUD 
 
REF: BAGHDAD 4268 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Robert Ford for reasons 
1.4(b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) General Secretary Tariq 
al-Hashimi told the Ambassador October 18 he is gravely 
concerned that a disputed referendum result in Ninewa 
handled indelicately would lead to a "disaster."  He 
recommended the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq 
(IECI) delay an announcement of final results until they 
invite representatives from all political parties to a 
special investigative session with senior officials.  The 
goal would be to reconcile allegations on the spot as a 
means to gain public acceptance of the referendum results. 
 
2. (U) In an October 18 interview on Al-Arabia TV, ICND 
Spokesman Saleh al-Mutlak accused the IECI of attempted 
fraud.  He claimed ICND polling data reflected an eighty 
percent vote against the constitution in Anbar, Diyala, and 
Salah ad Din Provinces.  He also accused the Iraqi Police 
of taking ballot boxes in Diyala, and Peshmerga militia of 
intimidating voters at polling sites across the country. 
 
3. (C) Dr. Hassan al-Bazazz, a well-known Sunni Arab and 
Baghdad University Political Science professor, told Pol 
FSN October 18 that forgery must have occurred in these 
same provinces because the public opinion is "obviously" at 
least two-thirds against the constitution.  He argued that 
international press reports suggesting that the referendum 
would likely pass has increased suspicions of fraud among 
Sunni Arabs.  He predicted violence would increase as a 
result of this perception. 
 
4.  (C)  Deputy President Ghazi al-Yawr told PolCouns 
October 19 that there was Kurdish interference in the 
Ninewah referendum process.  PolCouns asked for concrete 
examples.  Ghazi noted he had only heard allegations from 
his Ninewah contacts but he had no specifics.  He added 
that these contacts also were complaining about the 
distribution of polling centers.  PolCouns noted that the 
IECI office had worked out locations with the relevant 
security forces.  If there were problems with the 
distribution, Yawr's contacts should approach the IECI 
office in Ninewah with suggestions for how to improve them. 
Yawr warned that Kurdish-Arab ethnic tension is growing 
around Mosul.  The referendum had made this tension worse. 
Yawr mentioned that Saleh Mutlak's televised rants hit an 
emotional chord with many of Sunni Arabs who think the U.S. 
in in league with the Kurds.  He emphasized the U.S. must 
be seen as impartial or many Sunni Arabs will drift to 
harder line politics.  PolCouns took the point and said we 
are urging the IECI to be more transparent by explaining as 
widely as possible what it is doing.  Yawr agreed this 
would help. 
Satterfield 

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