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WikiLeaks: 2008-12-15: 08BAGHDAD3921: Ninewa: ADM to Participate in Provincial Elections Despite Reservations About Article 50

by WikiLeaks. 08BAGHDAD3921: December 15, 2008.

Posted: Monday, December 30, 2013 at 02:08 PM UT


Viewing cable 08BAGHDAD3921, NINEWA: ADM TO PARTICIPATE IN PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS

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Reference ID Created Classification Origin
08BAGHDAD3921 2008-12-15 07:52 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO6025
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3921 3500752
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 150752Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0863
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 003921 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/11/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: NINEWA: ADM TO PARTICIPATE IN PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS 
DESPITE RESERVATIONS ABOUT ARTICLE 50 
 
REF: BAGHDAD 3489 
 
Classified By: Classified By: PRT Ninewa Team Leader Alex Laskaris for 
reasosn 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
This is a Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) 
message. 
 
1. (C) Summary: The Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM) will 
participate in the upcoming provincial elections.  Deacon 
Adid Yusif al-Sahq of Shaikhan said that ADM will contest 
the seat reserved for the Christian minority, although it 
has yet to decide whether it will field candidates for seats 
not reserved for minorities.  According to Adid, the ADM still 
has a number of concerns about the fairness of Article 50 
-- in particular, the advantages the law gives to the 
province,s larger parties.  End Summary. 
 
2. (C) On December 1 in Ain Sifni (30 miles northeast of 
Mosul), ADM leader Adid told PRToffs that the ADM will 
participate in upcoming provincial elections.  The ADM has 
registered one candidate for the quota list, Salmi Habib 
Estifo, who is running under the Rafidain List.  Adid said 
that the ADM decided to compete for the minority quota seat 
because they did not want to disenfranchise themselves as 
the Sunnis had done with their boycott of provincial 
elections in 2005. 
 
3. (C) According to Adid, the ADM has decided to compete 
for the one Article 50-mandated seat reserved for 
Christians, but they have not decided whether to compete 
for seats open to all candidates.  Contesting the later 
would require the ADM to join either the Kurdistan 
Democratic Party (KDP)-led list or one of the Sunni 
Arab-led lists.  To join an electoral list led by one of 
the province's big parties means that the ADM would lose 
its ability to act independently, Adid said.  Adid asserted 
that ADM's independence is what makes it the strongest and 
most respected Christian party in Ninewa.  (Note:  The 
candidate registration period has ended and it would not be 
possible for ADM to add candidates to any other party,s 
list.  End Note.)  Adid added that the intentions behind Article 50 were good but the actual law works to the disadvantage of minorities (reftel). 
 
4. (C) In addition to Article 50, the ADM faces other 
barriers to province-wide coordination.  For instance, 
according to Adid and others, the KDP's Pesh merga forces 
prevent ADM leader Bassim Bello from commuting from his 
headquarters in Al Qosh, Tel Kaif District to Shaikhan 
District.  He opined that KDP's travel restrictions 
effectively prevent the ADM from spreading its electoral 
popularity from its base in Tel Kaif to other Christian 
areas in Ninewa. 
 
5. (C) Comment: The chronic problem with Ninewah's 
Christian minority groups is that they do not get along 
with each other and thus are unable to form an electoral 
coalition.  Although many of the Christian minority's wounds 
are self-inflicted, Article 50 and KDP political control of Christian areas do impede Christians from converting their percentage of Ninewa's overall population into the maximum number of elected representatives.  The election law stipulates one vote per person.  Consequently, a Christian voter must either vote for a candidate in the list reserved for Christians or the general list.  Therefore, a popular Christian candidate (or a number of middling candidates) competing for the reserved 
seat may attract many times the number of votes required to 
win a seat in the general provincial election.  The skewing 
of votes to the candidate competing for the reserved seat 
leads to a decrease in the overall number of Christian 
votes cast for candidates competing for seats not reserved 
Qvotes cast for candidates competing for seats not reserved 
for Christians. 
 
6. (C) Comment continued: In addition to the electoral 
impediments imposed by Article 50, Christian political 
parties face a stark choice if they hope to realistically 
compete for seats not reserved for Christians: either join 
the larger KDP or Sunni Arab-led coalitions and sacrifice 
some independence; or defy KDP-enforced travel restrictions 
that prevent mobilizing support in different parts of the 
province.  The other minorities of Ninewa face similar 
challenges. 
 
CROCKER

 



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