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WikiLeaks: Ninewa Kurds Focusing on Provincial Elections

Posted: Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 05:37 PM CT


Viewing cable 06MOSUL4, NINEWA KURDS FOCUSING ON PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSUL4 2006-01-30 13:39 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL REO Mosul
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 000004 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL:  1/30/2016 

TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM IZ PINT

SUBJECT: NINEWA KURDS FOCUSING ON PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS 

REF: MOSUL 216 

CLASSIFIED BY: H. Carl Gettinger, Acting Team Leader, Provincial 
Reconstruction Team Ninewa, State. 

REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 
 

------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 

1.  (C) REO Poloff met with members of the Kurdish Alliance (KA) 
to discuss national election results, the new government, 
security, and the future provincial election.  PUK member 
Abdulbari Al-Zebari claims KA did not perform as well as they 
should have due to improprieties by local IECI.  He said no 
attempt was made by local IECI to address the problem of 
displaced Kurds from the province and early voting for Kurdish 
Iraqi Army (IA) units.  PUK member Ahmed Moussa believes there 
was a vast "sectarian conspiracy" by Arab political parties and 
local IECI to deprive Kurds of their vote.  KA members said the 
future provincial election would be "most important," since it 
would impact who controls the Ninewa government.  To address 
security concerns in the province, KDP member Manaf Hassan 
suggests additional Peshmerga and Kurdish IA be brought in to 
provide security in Ninewa, especially Mosul, since he claims 
the "lack of adequate security" contributed to lower numbers of 
Kurds going to the polls in December.  Al-Zebari said although 
the new national assembly is made up of majority sectarian 
parties, the situation should bring secular groups together to 
improve their odds for the provincial election.  KA members 
asked for USG assistance to ensure the future Ninewa provincial 
election is organized better and more transparent.  End Summary. 

 
---------- 
BACKGROUND 
---------- 

2.  (SBU) REO Poloff met with members of the Kurdish Alliance 
(KA) in Mosul on January 29.  In attendance were Patriotic Union 
of Kurdistan (PUK) former Ninewa deputy director and national 
assembly seat winner Abdulbari Mohammed Faris Al-Zebari, PUK 
member and national assembly seat winner Ahmed Yousef Moussa, 
and new PUK Ninewa spokesman Mohyadeen Ma'roof Mohyadeen, as 
well as Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Ninewa spokesman Manaf 
Hassan.  KDP members and national assembly seat winners Mohsen 
Saadoon Ahmed and Veyan Sedeeq Moustafa were unable to attend. 
 

---------------------------- 
ELECTION RESULTS IN QUESTION 
---------------------------- 

3.  (C) Al-Zebari said KA's performance during the December 
national election was "well below" expectation, and that the 
coalition should have received six to eight seats instead of 
four.  He blames Independent Election Commission of Iraq (IECI) 
Ninewa director Oday Abed for "deliberate actions" against the 
Kurds.  Al-Zebari claims Abed worked closely with Arab sectarian 
coalitions, such as Tawafoq Iraqi Front (#618) and Al Hewar 
Iraqi Front (#667), to push the vote in favor of Sunni Arabs at 
the expense of the Kurds.  Hassan believes there might also be a 
link between security problems for Kurds and what he considers 
their "light turnout" at the polls in December.  But Moussa 
believes there was a vast, "sectarian conspiracy" perpetrated by 
Sunni and Shiite political parties that preyed on voters' 
religious fears.  He claims these parties told voters they would 
be "supporting Jews" if they voted for secular parties. 

 
------------------------------- 
IECI "AT FAULT" FOR KURD LOSSES 
------------------------------- 

4.  (C) Al-Zebari claims several Kurds from Ninewa were 
effectively "left out" of the election process.  He said three 
to five thousand displaced Kurds -- families who left Ninewa for 
security reasons for Irbil and Dohuk -- and Kurdish Iraqi Army 
(IA) soldiers were not allowed to vote either during early 
voting or on election day because they were "not registered." 
Al-Zebari said "Kurds always follow the rules," but Abed 
"misinformed and misled" them procedurally.  Al-Zebari said he 
was "frustrated and confused" that Abed "found a solution" for 
the displaced from Tal Afar by offering special polling sites in 
Sinjar, but that Abed "refused to help" other displaced peoples 
from Ninewa. 

5.  (C) Poloff pointed out that many Sunni Arab groups also 
complained to the REO for similar reasons, claiming that missing 
voter lists in Arab sections of Mosul were done to "benefit the 
Kurds" (reftel).  Al-Zebari said he believes such allegations 
are part of a "sectarian cover-up," where Arab parties colluded 
with Abed to "protect" the IECI director and his actions.  KA 
members said they are confused why Abed was "suspended" on the 
day of the election and yet reinstated recently.  They asked for 
USG assistance to ensure the future provincial election is 
organized better and more transparent.  Al-Zebari, Moussa, and 
Hassan suggest a new IECI director from Ninewa be appointed, and 
that there should be more "diversification" of headquarters 
staff since they believe there are too many Sunni Arabs working 
there. 

------------------------------------- 
PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS "MOST IMPORTANT" 
------------------------------------- 

6.  (C) Members of KA believe the provincial election will be 
the "most important," more so than the national election, since 
the future of who controls power in the province could 
ultimately be decided.  Al-Zebari said he understands a new 
provincial election would bring about a "more representative" 
provincial government, but that Kurds and the USG "must work 
together" to ensure the "outcome is fair." 

--------------------------------- 
SECURITY CONCERNS AND SUGGESTIONS 
--------------------------------- 

7.  (C) Hassan believes there is a "double standard" with 
regards to security concerns for Kurds and Arabs.  He claims 
Kurds are more susceptible to terrorist attacks and therefore 
should be allowed additional protection.  Hassan suggests the 
Iraqi provincial and federal governments allow more Peshmerga 
and Kurdish IA to patrol the streets of Mosul, especially in 
mostly Kurd-dominated areas of the city.  He believes the extra 
troop presence would make the city safer.  Hassan could not, 
however, comment on Poloff's question of how other minority and 
Arab groups might react to the presence of more Kurdish forces 
on the ground in Mosul.  Moussa claims Arabs have "too much 
control" over security in the city, and that they "manipulate 
the situation" to their advantage. 

----------------------------------------- 
NEW GOVERNMENT - SECULAR VERSUS SECTARIAN 
----------------------------------------- 

8.  (C) Moussa fears the majority "hard-line Islamists" in the 
new national assembly would cause problems in the government 
since they would work together to thwart efforts by Kurds and 
the USG to make Iraq more stable.  He claims Sunnis are now 
trying to "poison the political system" by imposing their 
"extremist" views on the populace.  Taking a more positive 
stance, Al-Zebari believes such divisions would work well to 
unite secularists, such as KA and the Iraqi National List 
(#731), as well as bring smaller sectarian parties, such as the 
Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) and Yezidi Movement (YM) (#668) in 
line with KA.  He claims KIU would vote with KA on most issues, 
since KIU would ultimately identify themselves as "Kurds first." 
 Al-Zebari believes secular parties need to work together to 
better their odds for the future provincial election. 
GETTINGER


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