Talk:Iraqi national elections

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Egyptian Weekly loaded with content

Al-Ahram - ASAP - New week starts feb 3

Al-Dhari, Harith; The power to resist; Al-Ahram, 20 - 26 January 2005 - Issue No. 726 - [1]
"Our meeting with members of the US diplomatic mission in Baghdad was the first such meeting to have taken place since the occupation. They had asked for the meeting and it was arranged through the intermediacy of the French Embassy. We agreed to meet because our door is always open to all diplomatic agencies that want to hear what we have to say, just as we want to hear what they have to say. The American delegation was headed by US Charge d'Affaires John Negroponte and consisted of several civil and military officials."

DEBKA says polling less than 50%

just a part of article:

"DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis: Initial Breakdown of Iraq’s First Exercise in Democracy"; January 31, 2005, 1:15 AM (GMT+02:00) - [2]

Four hours after the polls closed, a clearly relieved President George W. Bush spoke at the White House in praise of the bravery of Iraqis who turned out to vote and "firmly rejected the antidemocratic ideology" of terrorists. But the US president seemed to edge away from his usual encomiums on a "victory for democracy." Nor did he actually commend the Iraqis for the big step they took towards establishing a free and democratic government.
The truth is that there was not much of either in this remarkable election.
DEBKAfile’s Iraq experts reveal that, while the turnout is officially estimated at 60%, the real figure will probably turn out to be quite a bit lower, no more than 40-45% - in itself an exceptional feat. The other surprising manifestation was the high proportion of Iraqi women voters – appraised at more than 55% of the total. This was most marked in the Shiite districts of the south, where local clerics ordered everyone to vote, but the men stayed at home and sent their womenfolk to perform their democratic duty.
The Shiite turnout was disappointing in other ways too. Long queues and 80% percentage of eligible voters appeared only in the two shrine cities of Najef and Karbala. Further south in the densely populated Diwanya, Mussana, Qadasiya and Amara, the proportion did not go beyond 40%. In Basra, Iraq’s second largest town, the turnout was 32-35%, although Iraqi election officials claimed 90%.
Our experts characterize Shiite voting activity as "lots of hustle and bustle, but not too many ballots."

--Hugh Manatee 16:53, 1 Feb 2005 (EST)