Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Iraqis Are No Longer Afraid

During the last two days, I've been following the news of the Christian villages in Mosul that didn't get the chance to vote. The real reason is still unclear. There are 100,000 eligible voters in those villages. Those voters are disappointed by not being able to vote. I don't blame them.

AsiaNews reported:

Uncertainty still reigns in the predominantly Christian and Kurdish villages around Mosul where voting has not yet taken place.

The Electoral Commission accepted a proposal by local officials to extend the vote to Monday, "but as of this morning," Father Ganni explained, "people have not yet voted".

"The desire to vote is great," he stressed. "Yesterday in Karrakosh and neighbouring villages people took to the streets to protest because it is not clear why couldn't vote."

It is unclear in fact why the election was not held there. "They say that the election material did not arrive for logistical and organisational reasons," Father Ganni said, "but it can't be a simple coincidence that the material arrived everywhere else in the country and the city but not in the Christian villages."

Read more...

I'm glad to see people protesting to gain their right to vote. It means they really want a better future. It means they really believe in the baby democratic process that's been growing slowly in Iraq.

During Saddam's era, nobody cared about the elections. The results were known to everyone before any vote was cast. Now, you hear Iraqis say, "If we don't like this government, we'll change it during the next election." That quote really impressed me. Wow, we're learning the rules of democracy very quick, aren't we?


UPDATE 02/02/2005 12:27 PM
The Christian community in those villages is still protesting. The Electoral Commission hasn't solved the problem yet. It says it's trying to find a solution. I guess the solution is very easy and it would be to open the polls for those voters to cast their vote.


UPDATE 02/02/2005 12:34 PM
Radio Sawa announced that Al-Rafidain list came first in Australia. Congratulations to the ChaldoAssyrian community in Australia and around the world. Anyway, the result was expected. The ChaldoAssyrians are the oldest Iraqi community in Australia.

Most of my links are in Arabic. Sorry about that. It's time for you to learn Arabic :-)


UPDATE 02/02/2005 02:17 PM
According to Radio SAWA, the prime winners are:
1. Iraqi Alliance Coalition List.
2. Kurdish Parties List.
3. Iyad Allawi's List.

The final results has not be announced yet.


UPDATE 02/03/2005 11:52 AM
There's some progress in the situation of those villages. The electoral Commission sent a team of three lawyers to Mosul to investigate the complaints. That's a good sign.

Thank you to all the Iraqi Christians and Muslims who has been active during the last three days. They wrote letters to the government. They wrote articles on the online forums. It showed a great solidarity among the different ethnic groups in Iraq to resolve this matter.


UPDATE 02/04/2005 12:10 PM
The situation hasn't changed yet. An official from the Electoral Commission tried to downplay what happened. So, I doubt the solution is going to please the people who couldn't vote.

The Iraqi community in Sweden is organizing a demonstration to protest what happened to those villagers. The demonstration will be held in downtown Stockholm on Sunday 02/06/2005.

You can sign a complain letter here. The letter is addressed to:
Independent Electoral Commission in Iraq.
Transitional Iraqi government.
United Nations Organization.
Iraqi political parties and entities.
Governments of the Coalition forces in Iraq.
Civil and human rights organizations.
The opinion of the Iraqi people.

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