US embassy cable - 05BAGHDAD4369

PERELLI REAFFIRMS AUDITS WILL NOT AFFECT REFERENDUM OUTCOME

Identifier: 05BAGHDAD4369
Wikileaks: View 05BAGHDAD4369 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Baghdad
Created: 2005-10-23 18:39:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV 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 02 BAGHDAD 004369 
 
SIPDIS 
 
CENTCOM FOR POLAD 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/23/2015 
TAGS: PGOV, PNAT, IZ 
SUBJECT: PERELLI REAFFIRMS AUDITS WILL NOT AFFECT 
REFERENDUM            OUTCOME 
 
REF: A. BAGHDAD 4352 AND PREVIOUS 
     B. BAGHDAD 4110 
     C. BAGHDAD 4321 
     D. BAGHDAD 3975 
 
Classified By: PolCouns Robert S. Ford, reason 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY: UN EAD chief Carina Perelli and 
advisor David Avery told the Charge October 23 that the 
audit team conducting ballot counts in Erbil had 
discovered indications of fraud, but none that would 
impact the outcome of the vote (ref a).  Perelli said 
that audit teams in Basrah and Babil had not discovered 
significant irregularities.  Perelli predicted that the 
Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) would 
announce the passage of the constitution on October 25 
or 26, at which time it would also release the findings 
of the audit teams.  Perelli said that the coalition 
registration deadline of October 28 (ref b) had reduced 
preparation time for the December 15 ballot to the 
absolute minimum. The Charge stressed the importance of 
the earliest possible announcement of referendum results. 
He urged that the IECI hold firm on the December 28 
coalition registration deadline.  END SUMMARY 
 
2. (C) UN Electoral Assistance Division chief Perelli and 
advisor David Avery updated the Charge October 23 on the 
results of the audit team trips to Basrah, Babil, Erbil 
and Ninewa (reftel).  The first three teams have completed 
their spot checks of ballot boxes and returned to Baghdad. 
The team in Erbil found evidence of fraud -- e.g., markings 
that indicated leftover ballots had been filled out in 
stacks after polling centers closed.   Perelli said that 
the likely impact of the team's findings would be to reduce 
the percentage of "yes" votes in Erbil to 75-80 percent, 
vice the current 99 percent.  Noting that the referendum 
was always expected to pass in Erbil by a high margin, 
Perelli and Avery quipped that Kurdish Democratic Party 
(KDP) activists had engineered the high vote as "practice" 
for the December election. 
 
3. (C) Perelli said that no evidence of significant 
irregularities had been discovered in the Shia-majority 
provinces of Basrah and Babil.   She said that the audit 
team in Ninewa has completed inspections of two out of 
three warehouses and had uncovered nothing that would 
impact on the final vote tally for the governorate. 
Perelli added that the IECI has received only 120 
complaints nationwide related to the referendum.  She 
noted that this figure is statistically insignificant 
and that most complaints related to individual cases. 
 
4. (C) The Charge pressed for the earliest possible 
announcement of national referendum results.  Perelli and 
Avery said that the IECI would announce final provisional 
results for all but the four audited governorates 
October 24.  They predicted that the Commission would 
announce final provisional national results on October 
25 or 26, simultaneously releasing the results of the 
audit teams' report. 
 
5. (C) Perelli and Avery said that the audit report 
would refer to evidence of fraud in Erbil.  They added 
that in the coming weeks the IECI would issue a 
separate report on its review of the Kirkuk registration 
list (ref b).  They said the report's findings could 
lead to the removal of over 80,000 names from the list. 
Perelli and Avery said they hoped the Erbil and Kirkuk 
reports would send a clear message to Kurdish leaders 
that their supporters must desist from partisan 
machinations at polling centers in December.  They 
acknowledged that the reports would also send a clear 
message to Sunni Arabs, and others, of the IECI's 
sectarian-blind commitment to the integrity of the 
electoral process. 
 
---------------------- 
Registration Deadlines 
---------------------- 
 
6. (C) Perelli said that the extension in coalition and 
candidate list registration deadlines (ref c) had reduced 
preparation time for the elections to the bare minimum. 
She noted that the IECI had granted the extension to 
October 28 because Iraqi parties from all sides of the 
sectarian and political spectrum had failed to meet the 
previous October 21 deadline.  Avery warned that political 
parties could force the IECI to grant another extension by 
failing to meet the October 28 deadline.  Any further 
extension, Perelli warned, could force a delay in the 
December 15 election.  She also predicted that an extension 
past October 28 would result in Iraqi parties asking for 
even more time to develop coalitions. 
 
7. (C) Perelli and Avery said that if the December 15 
election is postponed, it should be delayed for at least a 
month.   The Charge said there should be no consideration 
given to postponing the election date of December 15 
(Comment:  Our reading is that such a postponement would not 
be permitted under the Transitional Administrative Law, per 
article 3 of the TAL which prohibits an amendment that could 
delay the holding of elections to a new assembly).  Charge 
said the IECI should hold firm on the new October 28 
deadline for coalition registration.  Perelli said the 
election could also go forward without coalitions; there is 
more flexibility on the deadline for candidate lists. 
 
----------------------------- 
Overseas Citizen Voting (OCV) 
----------------------------- 
 
8. (C) Perelli said that the IECI expects to receive an OCV 
plan from the Foreign Ministry October 28.  However, she 
said that the easiest outcome would be to have no, or very 
minimal, OCV in the December election.  Perelli and Avery 
noted that OCV will only affect the allocation of national 
compensatory seats.  They said that the greatest possible 
impact of OCV would be one additional Christian seat based 
on diaspora votes.  Under the election law (ref d) this 
scenario would only occur if a Christian Party won enough 
nationwide votes (including OCV) to qualify for a seat, but 
failed to win enough of such votes in a single governorate. 
 
 
Satterfield 

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