Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Iraq votes: Polling stations bombed, shot up and closed by force, voters brawl

Parliamentary elections have concluded in Iraq.  They were last held in March 2010.

All Iraq News reports Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq's leader Ammar al-Hakim offered congratulatory phone calls (on the elections taking place) to cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr, thug and prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, KRG President Massoud Barzani, Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi and Wataniya head Ayad Allawi and National Alliance head Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

Congratulations for success were based on rather questionable events.  For example, National Iraqi News Agency reports Shalal Abdoul, the Tuz Khurmatu Mayor, announced "11 stun bombings went off" in Tuz "in an attempt to prevent voters in the district of going to the polls" and "unidentified gunmen had cordoned off one of the polling centers in the Nahrawan area west of Mosul, and prevented the entry of the voters to vote and threatened residents of the area not to go to the polling stations to cast their ballots."  That was nothing, both of those events, however.  The big event?  All Iraq News reports a Ramadi polling station was shut down by force.  Who did it?  Mohammed Khamis Abu Risha who is Ahmed Abu Risha's nephew, Ahmed Abu Risha is the head of Anbar's Sahwa.

Yes, election day finally arrived in Iraq.  Whether it will have any meaning or not remains to be seen.

Passion spilled over into anger in at least two cities.  NINA notes six people required hospitalization at Al-Hussein Hospital in Samawah after they got into a physical altercation over whom they were supporting, and an argument near a Basra polling station between supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr and supporters of Nouri al-Maliki left three people injured,

Some went beyond fighting with their fellow voters.  NINA notes the home of Khalid Abdullah al-Alwani was blown up in Falluja (candidate for re-election, with the Motahedoon Coalition) -- that's Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi's coalition.  But even more than attacking politicians, there was attacking of the voting centers.

NINA notes a Muqdadiyah polling station was targeted with mortars leaving 1 person dead and seven more injured. a roadside bombing targeted a Mosul polling station leaving three people injured, another roadside bomb targeted another Mosul polling station leaving two people injured, a Qara Dora Village bombing targeting a polling station left 2 electoral commission employees dead (and two Iraqi soldiers injured),  a bombing targeting a Hader polling station left three security forces injured, a mortar attack on an Albu Farraj polling station left 2 people dead and three more injured, 3 suicide bombers were killed attempting to attack 2 Mosul polling stations,  1 suicide bomber at a Baiji polling station took his own life and the life of 1 police member (five people were left injured), a Kubaysa bombing targeting a polling station left two Iraqi soldiers injured, and voting at an Arbat polling station had to come to a halt when it was under "fire from unknown assailants."  All Iraq News notes bombings at a Ramadi polling station left 2 Iraqi soldiers dead.

While those were serious dangers for voters, All Iraq News points out a more minor issue of inconvenience journalists attempting to vote in Baghdad at the Sheraton Hotel complained.

Fraud charges were leveled ahead of the voting.  Possibly for good reason.  NINA notes 1 person was arrested in Nineveh Province's al-Shura for being in possession of 511 of the new electronic voting cards.

In still other violence, National Iraqi News Agency reports a Debis roadside bombing killed 2 women, another Debis bombing left five security forces injured,  a Mosul roadside bombing targeting an al-Baladiat checkpoint left two Iraqi soldiers injured, and an Albu-Awad Village roadside bombing killed 1 person and left two more injured,

Alsumaria reports that Ammar al-Hakim declared today that the forming of the National Alliance has begun. This may mean the reshaping of the government -- at least in terms of who will be prime minister.  Already the spinning has begun by one group (yep, Nouri's).  Will go over it in the snapshot later tonight.

The following community sites -- plus Ms. Magazine's blog, Dissident Voice, Jake Tapper, Susan's On the Edge, Black Agenda Report, Jody Watley, Iraq Inquiry Digest, and Pacifica Evening News -- updated:

  • Lu
    14 hours ago