By : Savaş TAZELİ
Throughout the election, Kurds in Iraq have maintained their irregularities which they initiated before the elections. It is possible to say that this situation, which the world public opinion does not want to see or hear about, can darken more the future of Iraq.
Lots of Kurds in Kirkuk who did not possess election IDs stipulated by the Independent Higher Election Board of Iraq, have voted with their KDP or PUK party IDs. Whereas, voter logs had to be abided by. Moreover, there are reports that people of a child’s age have cast votes. Turkmens and Arabs who tried to record these irregularities were thwarted by the officials of the Higher Election Board by resorting to force. After casting votes in their own constituencies, Kurdish voters were transported to the other polling stations with the vehicles provided by the KDP and the PUK which made them vote again.
According to the available information, in the special poll held in Kirkuk on March 5, 2010, fifteen thousand fake and repeated votes were cast. These votes were mostly cast by peshmerga and Kurdish public security elements. After the end of the special poll, ballot boxes that were gathered at the National Relations Consultation Bureau under the PUK were broken and pre-marked ballot papers were put inside them. Moreover, many Kurdish public security officers, army members and peshmergas re-cast their votes in civilian clothes in the regions that are mostly populated by Kurds, primarily in Kirkuk on 7th March. In a workplace located in Rahimava, 30 thousand fake ballot papers that had been marked for Kurdish Alliance List were seized.
The irregularities identified in Kirkuk are innumerous. In Kirkuk High School, a Kurdish military officer of Major rank did not permit the migrants to cast their votes except for the ones who voted for the Kurdish Alliance; in Dabak School located in Hurriyet neighborhood, persons brought by the Kurdish Alliance voted for the uncast votes; in Sorta High School, three ballot boxes were removed around 15.30 pm and they were replaced by other sealed ballot boxes that were brought in. These incidences can be indicated as examples of the mentioned irregularities.
On the other hand, many actions were staged in areas populated by Arabs, Shebeks and Yezidis in Mosul during the voting day, aiming at exerting pressure and intimidation. It was noteworthy that the US forces turned a blind eye to the endeavors of Kurdish peshmergas to prevent participation in the elections. Creating intense fear in Bartilla where Shebeks live, peshmergas injured a person who is a member of the Democratic Shebek Community. The acts of violence did not cease during the election day in Diyala/Baquba, Baladrus and Saidiyah that are mostly populated by Arabs. As is known, Diyala is a region that remains under a permanent intervention by Kurds and Iran. Therefore, it is a common view that the blasts were realized by Kurds.
When we look at the developments before and after the elections, it seems quite difficult for Iraq to found its future on a sound basis after a tainted election.