|Wikileaks:||View 05BAGHDAD4342 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||PGOV KDEM PINS PNAT PHUM PTER IZ Sunni Arab Elections|
|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 004342 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/20/2015 TAGS: PGOV, KDEM, PINS, PNAT, PHUM, PTER, IZ, Sunni Arab, Elections SUBJECT: IECI-SUNNI ARAB OUTREACH MEETINGS A SUCCESS Classified By: Political Counselor Robert Ford for reasons 1.4(b) and (d) 1. (U) PolOffs organized trips during September and October to bring IECI commissioners to meetings in Ramadi, Fallujah, Tikrit, Kirkuk, and Mosul with local officials and notables. Typically, one or two IECI commissioners met at each location with provincial council representatives, mayors, police chiefs, Sunni Arab political parties, local IECI officials, imams, sheikhs, university professors, and other leaders. The meetings were well attended, and local feedback was generally positive. The most common complaint was the lack of prior meetings, with a request that there should be more before December 15. 2. (U) Main topics discussed included the provisions in the new electoral law, polling center locations and security, the process for counting ballots, and proposed changes to IECI hiring practices to reflect ethnic representation of their management. Local leaders often questioned the method of allocating National Assembly seats and argued they deserve more given their population. The IECI commissioners reinforced their commitment to conduct a credible electoral process, and to ensure broad Sunni-Arab participation in the October 15 referendum and December election. They also asked for local help to report any legitimate, eyewitness accounts of ballot tampering or intimidation. 3. (C) Given the success of these meetings, post plans to continue this program in the run-up to the December 15 elections. The subject matter will be expanded to include topics relative to the election process. We are also considering adding an NGO representative who would be able to address issues related to political party participation for the elections. 4. (C) Comment: The visits provided a good opportunity to reduce distrust among Sunni Arabs toward the IECI commissioners. We do not pretend that we have banished all suspicions; Sunni Arab reaction to the delay in the referendum result demonstrates that IECI procedures are not well understood. Our goal now is to ensure that these visit are the start, and not the end, of outreach throughout Iraq. PolOffs are discussing next steps with all REOs and SETs. End comment. Satterfield
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