US embassy cable - 06MOSUL10

NINEWA IECI DIRECTOR CLAIMS EVIDENCE OF MISSING VOTERS COULD HAVE CHANGED ELECTION OUTCOME

Identifier: 06MOSUL10
Wikileaks: View 06MOSUL10 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: REO Mosul
Created: 2006-02-07 15:59:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM IZ MARR PINT Elections Electoral Commision
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 MOSUL 000010 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  2/7/2016 
TAGS: PREL, PINS, PGOV, PHUM, IZ, MARR, PINT, Elections, Electoral Commision 
SUBJECT: NINEWA IECI DIRECTOR CLAIMS EVIDENCE OF MISSING VOTERS COULD 
HAVE CHANGED ELECTION OUTCOME 
 
REF: MOSUL 210 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Cameron  Munter, PRT Leader, Provincial 
Reconstruction Team Ninewa, State. 
REASON: 1.4 (a), (b), (d) 
 
 
 
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SUMMARY 
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1.  (C) REO Poloff met with Independent Electoral Commission of 
Iraq (IECI) Ninewa Governate Electoral Office (GEO) director 
Oday Abed at his headquarters office at the PJCC on February 6. 
Abed claims an internal study he is conducting has revealed that 
over 4,000 families (potentially 15,000 to 19,000 voters) were 
"left off" of the voter registry list, or "List 91."  Abed 
believes this number, while not yet verified, would have 
"changed the outcome" of the election had these voters been able 
to participate.  Abed faulted central IECI for the error and 
speculated on potential corruption in the ranks of the 
headquarters office, which he also believes might have been the 
impetus for his suspension on the eve of the election.  Abed 
said he has already sent a letter informing central IECI of his 
findings, and that he would submit the final results of his 
study in the next few weeks.  He said he would not "go public" 
with the information for fear of reprisal.  End Summary. 
 
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"MISSING VOTERS" 
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2.  (C) Reflecting on the national election of December 15, Abed 
claims there were serious errors with the "List 91" voter 
registry.  Abed said he decided to conduct a study of the list 
since there were many cases of voters who did not appear on 
voter lists at several sites throughout the province (reftel). 
Abed claims 4,335 families, or 15,000 to 19,000 potential 
voters, were "missing" from the voter list.  Although he 
declined to say exactly which District Electoral Offices (DEOs) 
might have been affected, Abed believes that if his findings 
ring true they could have "changed the outcome" of the election 
in Ninewa. 
 
3.  (C) Abed said he conducted his study by sampling random DEOs 
and working with DEO managers and food agents (polling sites 
were linked to food ration agent locations) to get to the root 
of the problem.  Although Abed admits more work needs to be done 
before he can release his results, he is adamant about the 
number of missing voters he has discovered so far.  Abed said he 
wrote to central IECI in Baghdad about the issue, and is going 
to write another letter soon with the final results of his study 
with the hope that any glitches in the list could be corrected 
for the next election.  Abed said the problem never surfaced 
during the United Nations and IECI audit days after the 
election, since that only focused on ballot boxes.  He does not 
believe the UN ever knew about the problem. 
 
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SUSPENDED WITHOUT REASON 
------------------------ 
 
4.  (C) Abed said he is still confused why he was put on 
administrative leave early the morning of the election (reftel). 
 Abed said he "never received any answer" from central IECI why 
it happened.  He still believes the reason for his suspension 
was related to accusations of collaborating with political 
parties, which Abed said were leveled against "almost all GEOs" 
in the country.  More confusing for Abed, however, is that he 
claims he has "no idea" why he was allowed to return to his 
position after the election.  Regardless, Abed is confident that 
if an investigation were conducted he would be exonerated. 
 
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IECI CORRUPTION? 
---------------- 
 
5.  (C) Abed said he believes corruption in central IECI 
contributed to his being ousted temporarily, but said he could 
not supply us with specific information to back his claim.  He 
said he would do so in the future when he departs from post. 
Abed cited events that occurred before the election, however, as 
evidence of his doubts about the integrity of the IECI.  He 
claims IECI "ordered" him to create special polling sites for 
Iraqi Army (IA) units for early voting on December 12 and for 
all voting on December 15.  Abed said he refused to accommodate 
this request because he perceived it as an attempt to appease 
the Kurds, who make up the majority of IA soldiers in northern 
Iraq.  Abed said he received a list of 19,000 names from the 
military for early voting but that 23,000 showed up to vote 
(reftel).  Abed said he believes the extra 4,000 voters were 
"bused in" by Kurdish political parties.  He said he realizes 
these voters could only vote on the national ballot, but said he 
"would not support" such an order either way.  He is confident 
this event contributed to his being suspended on election day. 
 
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COMMENT 
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6.  (C) We note that Abed has had a tendency to exaggerate on 
certain points, most recently on the day before the election 
where he was having a war of words with IA 3rd Division 
commander General Khorsheed.  However, regarding his claim that 
there were a large number of voters whose names were "missing" 
on voter registry lists seems consistent with feedback we 
received from several other sources, including election 
observers, polling site managers, and political party officials. 
 Abed seemed very serious about this problem and claims he has 
even thought of "going public," telling his story to the press. 
Unfortunately, Abed said he has no confidence that his 
revelations would change anything, and believes that such a move 
would only put him and his family at risk. 
MUNTER 

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