|Wikileaks:||View 05BAGHDAD4311 at Wikileaks.org|
|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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