Sophia's Peace Work

Saturday, December 10, 2005

No News ...

We still hold our breathes about friends with CPT ... there is no word though today is the deadline.

Today I went down to the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq and signed up as in International Election Observer. It was pretty easy ... though I don't know if they will give me lots of instruction on what to expect. There is a big press conference tomorrow.

I've heard from two sources that electoral fraud will be occurring in a big way and that the ruling religious party (List 555) has placed people in the electoral commission to control the outcome. One person told me that 555 winning would be a "done deal" because of this fraud. I have an Iraqi friend here who was working for the electoral commission and she told me that she was fired when they found out that she was an Allawi supporter ... but then I found that she has been rehired by the Commission. So I'm not sure what to believe now.

I went into the Commission today with David Enders, he is a freelance journalist for Mother Jones and the Nation, who was there to get his press pass. We asked them about this issue and were told that anyone who was seen as being visibly partisan for one party (i.e. appearing on TV ads for that party, handing out party flyers) was let go from the Commission.

Anyway, this should be a learning experience for me. The Election runs from Dec 13th to the 15th. I would imagine that most of the work of an election observe is pretty boring ... watching hundreds of people come and go, dropping a piece of paper in a box ... and then the count, which is probably where the shinanigans would take place if there are any shinanigans.


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