Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Violence interrupts campaigning, this time in Kurdistan.

Unfortunately, electoral violence keeps escalating as we get closer to the election day, not only that as this time it has spread to that part of Iraq that had been void of violence when compared to the rest of the country.
Today we heard disturbing news about clashes between the Peshmerga soldiers loyal to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the guards of the office of the Kurdistan Islamic Union in Duhok.

The report from al-Hurra said that more than 40 of the guards and members of the Kurdistan Islamic Union were killed or injured when Pehmerga soldiers raided the Union’s office and later set it on fire. It is also believed that the man heading the Union’s list of candidates was among those injured.
An eye witness (as he claimed) told al-Hurra that the raid was an act of revenge because the Islamic Union has recently accused the local administration dominated by the KDP of being corrupt.
I’ll try to convey the man’s words as accurately as I can:

The Kurdistan Islamic Union based their electoral campaign on fighting corruption which they accuse the KDP officials of being heavily involved in…Unfortunately here in Kurdistan we do not have the same tolerance and freedom of speech our brothers in Baghdad have...

On the other hand, a few hours ago Allawi’s INA office in Najaf came under a rocket attack two days after Allawi “survived assassination” as he described it.

This series of violent acts and exchanged accusations and sensitivities suggest that we will see fraud in the elections in certain parts of the country.
I wouldn’t worry about Baghdad, Diyala or Kirkuk as these provinces have mixed populations and there’s a state of balance among the different powers that exist there but I have many reasons to worry about ballots in regions dominated by one trend or sect. so I think we’ll be facing possible fraud in several provinces in the west, south and north.
Will monitoring be efficient enough to prevent this?
I hope so.

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