Iraqi national elections
- 1 The road to elections in Iraq - tussles between the CPA and the IGC
- 2 Iraqi national election December 2005
- 3 Iraqi national election January 2005
- 4 SourceWatch Resources (alpha order)
- 5 External links
The road to elections in Iraq - tussles between the CPA and the IGC
A prerequisite for Iraqi national elections in the "New Iraq" was the creation of an accurate Iraqi census. However, the New York Times reported on December 4, 2003 that "Iraqi census officials devised a detailed plan to count the country's entire population next summer and prepare a voter roll that would open the way to national elections in September. But American officials say they rejected the idea, and the Iraqi Governing Council members say they never saw the plan to consider it." 
On November 15, 2003, the New York Times reported that: "The Bush administration has agreed to restore independence to Iraq as early as next June, apparently hoping the move will change the perception of the United States as an occupying power and curb the mounting attacks on American forces in the country, Iraqi and American officials said Friday. ... The plan to accelerate the transfer of power was put forward by Iraqi leaders this week, and taken to Washington by L. Paul Bremer III, the American administrator in Iraq. Late on Friday, officials said, a newly returned Mr. Bremer hastened to tell members of the Iraqi Governing Council's inner leadership circle that the White House had broadly accepted the plan." 
The December 5, 2003 'Statement on Iraqi Sovereignty' by the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Governing Council affirmed that: "The November 15 Agreement signed by the Iraqi Governing Council and the Coalition Provisional Authority is an historic step. It provides for Iraqis to choose a new Iraqi Government through direct, national elections by the end of 2005, on the basis of a permanent constitution. It provides for a new constitution drafted by Iraqis, who will be chosen by full direct elections by March 2005. It restores Iraqi sovereignty and ends the occupation by June 30, 2004." 
Iraqi national election December 2005
The "outpouring" of Sunni Arabs who "turned out in force to build a new Iraq, walking to polls by the hundreds of thousands" on Thursday, December 15, 2005, "for national elections that generated robust participation across the country's sectarian and ethnic divides" -- described as "a long-hoped-for victory for the Bush administration, concluding a U.S.-planned timeline aimed at establishing a government that will hold together after U.S. troops withdraw" -- was due to the Sunnis' "dislike of the U.S. occupation and Iraq's U.S.-supported, Shiite-led transitional government," Ellen Knickmeyer and Jonathan Finer reported December 16, 2005, in the Washington Post.
Of the numbers of lists posted around Iraq touting candidates for the election, Blogspot Bagdhad Burning highlights those of five parties (as stated):
- National Iraqi (731): Ayad Allawi’s list, "which now includes some other prominent puppets including" Adnan al-Pachachi, Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, Safia Taleb al-Suhail, etc. "Ayad Allawi is a secular Shia, CIA-affiliated, ex-Ba’athist."
- Unified Iraqi Coalition List (555): Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Ibrahim al-Jaafari and "various other pro-Iran fundamentalists, in addition to Sadrists."
- Kurdistani Gathering (730): Massoud Barazani, Jalal Talabani "and a few other parties."
- Iraqi Front for National Dialogue (667): "Mainly Sunni, secular list – includes the Iraqi Christian Democratic Party" and is headed by Salih al-Mutlag.
- Iraqi Alliance Front (618): "Mainly Sunni Islamic parties."
Also see "Election Campaigning Degenerates into Dog-Eat-Dog Atmosphere," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, December 9, 2005, background on the issues and political parties involved.
Iraqi national election January 2005
The first elections in Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein were held on Sunday January 30, 2005 .
National Endowment for Democracy, International Republican Institute help the Iraqis with democracy
According to the Washington Post, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, International Republican Institute (IRI), and the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) were involved in preparations for the elections:
- "In the 13 months it has operated in the country, the [NDI] has tutored political aspirants from all of Iraq's major parties, trained about 10,000 domestic election observers and nurtured thousands of ordinary citizens seeking to build the institutions that form the backbone of free societies. The work is in many ways entirely routine for the institute -- as it is for the two other Washington-based organizations that are here advising on the architecture of democracy: the International Republican Institute (IRI), which declined requests for an interview, and the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), which along with the United Nations is providing crucial technical assistance to Iraq's electoral commission." 
And according to a December 2004 press release, "Tony Marsh and Lance Copsey, principals of the Republican media consulting firm Marsh, Copsey & Scott,(now known as Marsh Copsey & Associates) recently signed a major contract with the International Republican Institute to develop an election media center. The media center will be a critical component to help Baghdad’s candidates and political parties in Iraq’s first ever free and fair election." 
Vietnam 1967 - a previous 'successful' election in a client state under US military occupation
The emphasis placed on the January 31 election by the Bush administration and its allies, and the elated reaction to its purported 'success', both bear an uncanny resemblance to the 1967 election in South Vietnam:
- WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here. Pending more detailed reports, neither the State Department nor the White House would comment on the balloting or the victory of the military candidates, Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, who was running for president, and Premier Nguyen Cao Ky, the candidate for vicepresident. A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson's policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam. The election was the culmination of a constitutional development that began in January, 1966, to which President Johnson gave his personal commitment when he met Premier Kyand General Thieu, the chief of state, in Honolulu in February.
— Peter Grose, "U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote: Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror", New York Times, September 4, 1967: p. 2.
Miscellaneous quotes about the 2005 Iraqi election
- 19 Jan 05: "US keeps locations of Iraqi voting booths secret," AEDT.
- "US authorities say Iraqis will vote in the insurgent centres of Fallujah and Ramadi but officials will keep the number and location of polling stations secret until the last minute to prevent attacks."
- 20 Jan 05: Political Animal Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly reports:
- "On ABC News tonight they had a report about preparations for voting in the city of Mosul. The original plan was to have 100 polling places, but because of the violence there that's been cut down to 40.
- "The population of Mosul is 2 million, and you can probably figure that about two-thirds of that number are eligible to vote. That means each polling place will have to handle 33,000 voters. Even if turnout is only 50%, that's still about 16,000 people per polling station.
- "Even 100 polling stations sounds like far, far too few. But 40?"
- Yoav Stern, Israelis of Iraqi descent can vote after all, Haaretz, January 21, 2005.
- "Israelis of Iraqi descent can participate in the elections to the Iraqi parliament, according to the voter registration principles."
SourceWatch Resources (alpha order)
- Agreement on Political Process
- Arab Spring
- Demonstration elections
- International Foundation for Election Systems
- International Republican Institute
- Iraqi Constitution
- Iraqi-Pro Democracy Party
- National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
- Post-war Iraq
- Transitional Iraqi Government
- "Coalition, Governing Council Statement on Iraqi Sovereignty," U.S. Department of State, December 5, 2003.
- Patrick E. Tyler, "Iraq Leaders Seek Greater Role Now in Running Nation," New York Times, September 27, 2003: "Impatience is beginning to grow here as Iraqi officials chafe at the strictures of an American occupation, which, they say, has in some cases slowed reconstruction because power is centralized in the hands of the military commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, and the civilian occupation administrator, L. Paul Bremer III.... But at the same time, the United States is convinced that the Iraqi Governing Council, an appointed rather than an elected body, is not ready to take control of an unstable and still violent country."
- Robin Wright and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, "Alternatives to Iraqi Council Eyed," Washington Post, November 9, 2003: "Increasingly alarmed by the failure of Iraq's Governing Council to take decisive action, the Bush administration is developing possible alternatives to the council to ensure that the United States can turn over political power at the same time and pace that troops are withdrawn, according to senior U.S. officials here and in Baghdad."
- Joel Brinkley, "A Region Inflamed: Interim Government; Some Members Propose Keeping Iraqi Council After Transition" (Abstract), New York Times, November 25, 2003: "Leaders of Iraqi Governing Council, who promised to dissolve body when new provisional government is elected in June, are now lobbying to stay in power as second legislative body; opponents suspect leaders like Jalal Talabani and Ahmad Chalabi are afraid they will not win in elections."
- Bill Berkowitz, "Bombing and blasting while cutting and running. 'Operation Iron Hammer' aims to keep lid on resistance until after election," WorkingForChange, November 26, 2003: "Now, in one of the more cynical twists to the entire cockamamie Iraq saga, the Bush Administration has decided that come June 2004, it will turn over authority in Iraq to a provisional government. No constitution will be in place; no elections will have been held; the resistance will still be resisting. After June 2004, the U.S. -- especially the military -- will remain in Iraq as 'invited guests'. ... In effect, the Bush Administration is 'cutting and running'."
- Joel Brinkley and Ian Fisher, "U.S. Plan in Iraq to Shift Control Hits Major Snag," New York Times (Common Dreams), November 27, 2003.
- Alex Berenson, "Iraq's Shiites Insist on Democracy. Washington Cringes," New York Times (Common Dreams), November 30, 2003.
- Maria Tomchick, "It's Time for Elections, George," AlterNet, December 2, 2003.
- Slobodan Lekic, "Iraqi Council Head Demands Direct Vote," Associated Press (aliraqi.org), December 3, 2003.
- Alissa J. Rubin, "US Resistance to Direct Vote Galvanizes Iraq's Shiite Clerics," Los Angeles Times (Common Dreams), December 3, 2003.
- Matthew Rothschild, "Rigging Iraq's Elections," The Progressive (Common Dreams), December 5, 2003.
- "UN criticises Iraq poll warning," BBC, September 24, 2004.
- Press release, "American Media Consultants to Assist Iraqi Elections: Principals of Marsh Copsey + Scott to work in Baghdad through the January elections", PRWeb.com, December 11, 2004.
- "Q&A: Iraqi election", BBC, January 27, 2005.
- Karl Vick and Robin Wright, "Coaching Iraq's New Candidates, Discreetly: U.S.-Funded Programs Nurture Voting Process", Washington Post, January 26, 2005.
- Robert Fisk, CounterPunch Election series
- "Fear Stalks Baghdad: The City Where Even Police Hide Behind Masks," The Independent (UK) via CounterPunch, January 12, 2005.
- "The Tent of Occupation: Fallujah's Refugees Won't Return Home, Won't Vote," The Independent (UK) via CounterPunch, January 14, 2005.
- "Flying Carpet Airlines: My Return to Baghdad," The Independent (UK) via CounterPunch, January 15/16, 2005.
- "Hotel Room Journalism: The US Press in Iraq," The Independent (UK) via CounterPunch, January 17, 2005.
- "The Shia Will Inherit Iraq: This Election Will Change the World, But Not in the Way the US Wanted," The Independent (UK) via CounterPunch, January 29/30, 2005.
- "No One Believes the Insurgency Will End: Amid Tragedy, Defiance," The Independent (UK) via CounterPunch, January 31, 2005.
- Dahr Jamail, "Some Just Voted for Food", Inter Press Service, January 31, 2005. "Voting in Baghdad was linked with receipt of food rations, several voters said after the Sunday poll."
- Robert Parry, "Sinking in Deeper", ConsortiumNews, February 3, 2005.
- Edward Herman, "The Election In Iraq: The U.S. Propaganda System Is Still Working In High Gear,"] ZNet, February 13, 2005.
- Douglas Jehl and David E. Sanger, "Plan Called for Covert Aid in Iraq Vote", New York Times, July 17, 2005.
- Seymour M. Hersh, "Get Out the Vote. Did Washington try to manipulate Iraq’s election?" The New Yorker, posted online July 18, 2005; July 25, 2005 (issue).
- Fareed Zakaria, "The Limits of Democracy. The elections in Iraq had wondrous aspects, but they also divided the country into three communities and hardened the splits," Newsweek (MSNBC), January 29, 2007 (issue).