Sunday, January 30

All Across Iraq

The mood in Bagdad is joyful, they say. "I've never seen so many Iraqis smiling until this day. This day there is joy and optimism and hope in every eye in Bagdad. There was gunfire on many occasions but people didn't seem to care." Omar in Bagdad.

There was opposition in unexpected places, however.

The election seemed to go pretty well in Najaf, as well. The worst thing that happened wasn't anything like a terror attack, but a bit of malfeasance by the governor.

Our correspondent there spoke to local human rights chief Talleb Al Zayyadi.

"It is a great day for Iraq, a new Iraq, a great Iraq, without Saddam Hussein, an Iraq looked upon by all people of the world, a democratic Iraq. We witnessed today a big and unexpected turnout of Iraqi voters to the polls. Things are going to the better, but there are some negative things that happened today.

I am sorry to say these are done by certain persons, in particular the Governor of An Najaf who took advantage of his position to do all what he can to promote the list No. 254 of which he is the leader, the list of Al Wafaa. He used all these capabilities for his advertising campaign and even today, he rented more than 400 cars to transport voters to and from voting centers to vote for his list.

This is a flagrant violation of the electoral law and the instructions of the IECI. Unfortunately, the IECI did nothing and let him do what he wanted. A statement published by An Najaf Governor No. 150 on 28 January comprised instructions in five articles, article No. 4 was to get cars to transport voters, by the governorate in coordination with the IECI. The IECI said it has no knowledge of this matter. The governor refused to give badges to delegates of all other entities so let them circulate within the governorate and observe elections, that is a breach."

This material comes from Friends of Democracy

Election Goes Smoothly in Kirkuk

Our Friends of Democracy correspondent in At Tamm'im province reports that all seems to be going well in Kirkuk.

Everything was so quiet in Kirkuk and all the citizens were going to the voting centers for the early morning. The streets were empty of the cars but buses were used to help people reach their electoral centers.

In Tiseen which is part of the Shi district (mostly Arabs and Turkmen) the electoral center was so crowded and the lines had a lot of people (at least hundreds). It is significant that on average there were more women than men. Every center had 3 security tiers which had the police, the Iraqi National guards and the coalition forces.

In Mousala which is a pure Turkmen district every one was going to the electoral centers, even the elderly women and men and the handicapped.

In Hawiga which is one of zones in the country sides of Kirkuk many electoral centers were bombed in the few last days. Although high risk, some resources said there are people are going to the elections now. The police and the Iraqi national guards have their own plans to make the electoral operation as secure as possible for the people to go to the elections.

In Isakan, which is a Kurdish district, the security is very high and the electoral centers were crowded. The police and the national guard were everywhere.

Although there were 3 attacks on the coalition airbase in Kirkuk, at 8 o'clock the electoral centers was filled with people and no one was afraid because of the number of police in the streets. This made the people feel secure enough to walk to and from the electoral centers.

He filed a second report from Kirkuk today.

During the elections the kids have nothing to do as everyone is busy voting.

These kids are playing football on the main streets which are usually crowded with cars.

In Abbasi and Riyath, which are villages near Hawgi, most of the tribes are going to the elections. These were among the most unstable places in the countryside of Kirkuk, which means everything is under control in Kirkuk.

Posted By Sunnye

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