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WikiLeaks: 2005-10-05: 05BAGHDAD4110: IECI Reaches Out to Kirkuk

Posted: Friday, October 28, 2011 at 05:49 PM CT


Viewing cable 05BAGHDAD4110, IECI REACHES OUT TO KIRKUK

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05BAGHDAD4110 2005-10-05 06:42 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
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 004110 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/01/2015 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PINS IZ
SUBJECT: IECI REACHES OUT TO KIRKUK 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Robert Ford
for reasons 1.4(b) and (d) 
 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY.  Sunni Arab leaders in Kirkuk told an 
Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) delegation 
September 28 that the large increase in Kurdish voter 
registration was fraudulent and demanded an investigation. 
IECI commissioners Hamdia Muhammad and Adil Allami assured 
these Sunni Arab leaders and provincial government leaders 
that IECI would conduct an audit of Kirkuk voter 
registration records and invited Kirkuk leaders to observe 
the audit in Baghdad.  Regarding the elections crimes 
provision in the new election law, IECI commissioners 
explained that those who vote twice or stuff ballot boxes 
face imprisonment.  The IECI commissioners solicited help 
from Kirkuk leaders to get the word out to the public to 
report any irregularities, including ballot tampering or 
intimidation, and stressed their commitment to hold free 
and fair elections.  (See paragraph 7 for a complete list 
of Kirkuk participants).  END SUMMARY. 
 
Kirkuk Government Leadership Meeting 
------------------------------------ 
 
2. (C) Commissioner Hamdia Muhammad began the September 28 
meeting by telling the multi-ethnic Kirkuk government 
leadership, including the governor and provincial council 
representatives, about the new electoral law.  She 
explained the provision on elections crimes in detail: 
voting twice or stuffing ballot boxes were elections crimes 
punishable by imprisonment.  IECI Chief Executive Officer 
and Commissioner Adel Allami said that, as recommended by 
elections experts, IECI would audit the controversial surge 
in Kirkuk registrations to ensure that new registrations 
were legitimate.  Both commissioners stressed IECI's 
commitment to hold free and fair elections. 
 
3. (C) Provincial council member Ali Mehdi (Turcoman) said 
that the 227,000 new registrations in Kirkuk represented an 
incredible 49 percent increase in the Kirkuk voter roll and 
was 10 times the increase in the number of the voters in 
Baghdad.  He threatened to withdraw the Turcomans from the 
political process if IECI did not carry out its promised 
audit.  Council member Rakan Said (Sunni Arab) pointed out 
that one registration center suspiciously recorded 4,000 
new voters in one day.  Council member Muhammad Kamal 
(Kurd) was less enthusiastic about the voter registration 
audit.  He claimed Kurds, including those previously 
deported to Iran, have started to return to Kirkuk in large 
numbers, and any investigation that specifically targeted 
Kurdish areas would be unacceptable.  All participants 
united in accusing the IECI Kirkuk office of incompetence 
and corruption.  Provincial Council Chairman Rizgar Ali 
Hamajan (Kurd) called for an investigation of IECI 
employees in Kirkuk, and demanded ethnically representative 
IECI management in Kirkuk.  Commissioner Allami noted that 
Kirkuk leaders have never been able to agree on a candidate 
to lead IECI Kirkuk, and once again invited the leaders 
nominate a candidate acceptable to all parties. 
 
Kirkuk Sunni Arab Leaders 
--------------------------- 
 
4. (C) In a separate meeting, Sunni Arab leaders from 
Kirkuk raised concerns about what they saw as fraudulent 
Kurdish registration during August 2005.  Provincial 
Council member Rakan Saeed, for example, claimed that many 
Kurds recently arrived from Iran and Turkey had registered 
without proper documentation or identification.  Although 
none of the Sunni Arabs had proof, they all supported this 
claim.  A local community leader, Ali Abid Muhammad, echoed 
the sentiments of several attendees who feared outsized 
Kurdish registration would marginalize Sunni Arabs. 
Commissioner Allami assured the group that voter 
registration records in Kirkuk would be brought to Baghdad 
for an audit and invited political party representatives to 
come to Baghdad to observe the audit. 
 
5. (C) Sunni Arab leaders demanded greater Sunni 
representation on IECI's Kirkuk staff.  Several Sunni Arab 
provincial council members warned the IECI of their 
"historic responsibility" to ensure legitimate elections. 
In response, IECI Commissioner Hamdia Muhammad called for 
their help in reporting credible allegations of ballot 
tampering or intimidation.  She explained the new IECI 
system available online to report such abuses. 
 
6. (C) COMMENT.  This Kirkuk visit is the second stop in 
the Embassy-organized IECI outreach program to five Sunni 
areas (Ramadi, Kirkuk, Mosul, Fallujah, and Tikrit) to 
address deep Sunni suspicions against IECI, and to 
encourage Sunni-IECI dialogue.  IECI commissioners continue 
to praise Embassy facilitation of this important outreach 
program and commented that the Kirkuk trip was a success. 
As this visit demonstrated, there are many deep-seated 
suspicions among the Sunni Arabs, and other Iraqi 
communities as well.  END COMMENT. 
 
7. (C) List of Kirkuk Participants: 
 
Kirkuk Governor and Provincal Council Meeting 
--------------------------------------------- - 
Kurds (invited): 
'Abd-al-Rahman Mustafa Fattah, Kirkuk Governor (Kirkuk 
Brotherhood List (KBL)/independent) 
Rizgar Ali Hamajan, Provincial Council Chairman (KBL/PUK) 
Kamal Muhammad, Provincial Council Member (KBL/KDP) 
General Sherko Shaker, Kirkuk Police Chief 
Representative of Brigadier General Anwar Hamed Amen 
 
Kurds (not invited, but participated in meeting): 
Ihsan Gili, Kirkuk Mayor (KDP) 
Hassib Rozhbayani, Head of Kirkuk Government Resettlement 
and Compensation Committee (KDP) 
Ali Qadir, KBL Spokesperson (PUK) 
Dr. Adnan Obed Kirkuki, KBL Spokesperson (KDP) 
Mahmood Muhammad, Provincial Council Member (KDP) 
 
Turcomans: 
Ali Mehdi, Provincial Council Member (Iraqi Turcoman 
   Front (ITF)/Turcoman Eli Party) 
Qasim Hamza, Provincial Council Member (ITF/Turcoman Loyal 
Party) 
Irfan Jamal Kirkukli, Provincial Council Member 
   (KBL/Iraqi Turcoman People's Party) 
 
 
Sunni Arabs: 
Burhan Muzhir Assi Al-Ubedi, Provincial Council Member 
   (Iraqi Republican Gathering(IRG)/IRG) 
Rakan Saeed Ali Al-Jabburi, Provincial Council Member 
   (IRG/Independent) 
Ahmed Khidhir Gharb, Provincial Council Member 
   (IRG/IRG) 
(Note: All Sunni Arab council members were invited to this 
meeting.  Three of the six attended.  End Note.) 
 
Chaldo-Assyrian: 
Edward Oraha, Assistant to Kirkuk Governor 
 
Sunni Arab Meeting 
------------------ 
 
Khidhr Akber Hassan, Kirkuk University Professor 
Ahmed Shihab Ahmed, Imam, Hawijah 
Ahmed Qadir, Writer (Human rights and law) 
Sheikh Ibrahim Muhammad Khalef Al-Jumaily, Tribal Leader 
Sheikh 'Abdallah Yassen Sultan Al-Luhebi, Tribal Leader 
Muhammad Ibrahim Muhammad, Community Leader and Teacher 
   (College of Administration and Economics) 
Ali Abid Muhammad, Community Leader and Teacher 
   (Secondary School) 
Abdulbast Ali, Community Leader and Northern Oil Company 
   Employee 
Ahmed Hameed al-Ubaydi, Iraqi Republican Gathering Kirkuk 
   Office Head and Arab Consultative Council Deputy Head 
Dr. Hussein Sulayman Al-Jabburi, Current Arab Consultative 
   Council Head 
'Abd-al-Rahman Munsheed al-Ubaydi, Tribal Leader and 
   Former Head of the Arab Consultative Council 
Burhan Muzhir Assi Al-Ubedi, Provincial Council Member 
Rakan Saeed Ali Al-Jabburi, Provincial Council Member 
Ali Hamdi, Assistant to Kirkuk Governor 
Mamduh Ahmed Hassan, Community Leader and English Language 
Teacher 
Mustafa Ahmed, Coordinator of Iraqi Human Rights 
   Organization 
Khalilzad

 


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