May 4, 2013
That's the Independent High Electoral Commission's webpage in Arabic. Hacked.
Today the IHEC released the final results of the vote. Provincial elections were held in 12 of Iraq's 18 provinces last month. Let's drop back to last Saturday:
In addition, Alsumaria notes that MP Iman al-Moussawi (also with the Sadr bloc) states that Nouri pressured the Electoral Commission to change the votes. These charges were made during the 2010 recounts and there was validity to them. If a few votes were changed this go round, this is major because in all but one province State of Law won, it did not win huge majorities. In Wasit, for example, it beat Amar al-Hakim's Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq by 2% -- Wasit had charges of voter fraud and had a huge number of voters turned away two Saturdays ago when security forces were doing early voting. There's even dispute as to whether State of Law comes in first in eight provinces. Some outlets are claiming it's only seven. If the IHEC would publish their totals -- as they were supposed to already do -- it would eliminate a great deal of confusion.
Some outlets were right. The Iraqi media reporting seven provinces last Saturday as the western outlets continued to report eight? The Iraqi media was right. Reuters noted the 8 provinces last week and, because they're such good sports, gave State of Law a ninth province.
But that wasn't reality was it?
Even AFP notes today it's 7 provinces that State of Law won; "[h]owever, no list won a majority of seats in any of the provinces." Al Mada's a lot more forthcoming. In Baghdad, for example, Nouri's State of Law held 28 seats. This election reduced it to 20.
Remember when the western media was telling us this election would be a test for how popular Nouri was?
I do too.
The election results were never going to tell any such thing. We said it then. These are the equivalent of local and state elections. But if they wanted to apply it to any province, Baghdad would be the one to go with. In Baghdad, Nouri is local.
State of Law was supposed to sweep the elections proving Nouri was popular. No. Nouri was not on the ballot. I would love to be able to say "Ha! Nouri lost!" I would love to. But it's not true. He was not on the ballot.
It is a measure of State of Law members running in provincial races being unable to connect very well. Especially alarming when 2010 saw State of Law's support from strictly Shi'ites and this election had a large Shi'ite turnout. Whatever the political slate is doing, it is not connecting on a local level.
These are disaster results for State of Law. In a few months, the KRG will vote (three provinces). State of Law has no support in the KRG. That's be 15 of Iraq's two provinces. Supposedly Nouri's going to allow Anbar Province and Nineveh Province to vote July 4th (this shouldn't even be Nouri's call and the two provinces should have voted last month). State of Law will lose those as well.
So after Iraq's 17 provinces vote? State of Law will be able to claim only 7 provinces. That might be impressive if there were only, say, 10 provinces in Iraq. But 7 isn't half of the total to vote.
(I would love to see Kirkuk vote this year but nouri's refusal to implement Article 140 of the Constitution most likely means Kirkuk will yet again not be able to vote.)
So way less than half of the provinces supported State of Law and then just by the tiniest of margins.
No, this was not a successful election for State of Law.
Tuesday, April 23rd, Nouri al-Maliki's federal forces stormed a sit-in in Hawija, Kirkuk. Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk) announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault. The Hawija massacre continues to bring bad news for Nouri.
Today UNICEF issued the following:
BAGHDAD, 4 May 2013 – "UNICEF has received substantial and credible information that up to eight children have been killed and up to 12 others seriously injured during violence in Hawija, near the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, on 23 April 2013.
"Among those reported to have been injured – all boys between the ages of 14 and 17 – several were said to have received severe gunshot wounds.
"UNICEF is extremely concerned about these reports and has requested the Government of Iraq to urgently investigate these cases.
"Children must be protected against all forms of violence and the Government needs to do more to actively promote and establish effective child protection policies, laws and systems.
"Children and their families in Iraq continue to bear the brunt of the violence and instability currently escalating across the country."
The slaughter the western media didn't want to cover. It happened two weeks ago. (And CNN, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times did cover it in real time in the US.) But it was only last week that it began to be mentioned by most US outlets.
Now we learn it claimed the lives of 8 children and left twelve injured.
The American media needs to play catch up real damn quick.
If they can't quit pimping war on Syria long enough, they might want to try to cover Iraq for a day or two.
The violence never stops there. National Iraqi News Agency reports an Alommal bombing left one police officer injured, one police officer was injured in an al-Abbarah shooting, Dr. Khalil Moklif (Dean of the College of Management and Economics) was shot dead in Falluja, a Hawija roadside bombing injured a Sahwa leader and three of his bodyguards, 1 attorney was shot dead in Mosul, a Mosul roadside bombing claimed the lives of 2 police officers and left a woman injured, and a Mosul invasion left a husband and wife dead (the husband was a contractor). All Iraq News adds that an armed attack in Mosul left 2 Iraqi soldiers dead and a third injured, and another armed clash in Mosul between Nouri's federal forces and rebels left 14 rebels dead.
It rained in Wasit Province. Heavy rains. What does that mean? All Iraq News explains displace families as a result of the flooding: "Dozens of families were forced to evacuate their residences leaving their livestock behind, heading towards Sheikh Saad district of southern Wasit province since their villages and their mud-hut houses were swept due to rain floods." As we were noting yesterday, "Anytime heavy rains are forecast, various areas of Iraq have to worry about flooding because Nouri's failed in his seven years as prime minister to fix the sewage system." Alsumaria notes that the International Red Crescent Society has helped over 200 families today in Maysan Province who also saw the heavy rains flood their streets and homes.