Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Vote Count Well Under Way

By Zaineb Naji in Baghdad (ICR No. 108, 01-Feb-05)

Adel al-Lami, director of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, IECI, said on February 1 that after the final results were tabulated in about a week's time, there would be a period during which parties, candidates and others could raise objections and appeal against results.

Al-Lami promised an "objective" discussion about the failure to hold elections in certain areas due to security concerns, and about problems where ballot papers had not been sent out to some towns. The IECI was committed to upholding international election standards, he said.

In various Sunni-dominated areas, notably the western Anbar governorate, few voters went to the polls because of fear and boycott calls. Explosions and attacks continued on election day in these areas.

Some polling stations, such as those in Sinjar, near Mosul in northern Iraq, reported that they had not received enough – in some cases, any – ballot papers in time for the vote. Al-Lami blamed such logistical failures on the lack of "field support" in such places.

Election staff from all 18 governorates of Iraq have filed their notes on the day's proceedings with the IECI, and al-Lami said these will be used to compile a final report on the elections.

Zaineb Naji is an IWPR trainee journalist in Iraq.

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