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Cablegate: Isci Courting Babil's School-Aged Voters

VZCZCXRO1057
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHIHL #0064 1751343
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231343Z JUN 08
FM REO HILLAH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1097
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHIHL/REO HILLAH 1163

UNCLAS HILLAH 000064

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR IZ IR
SUBJECT: ISCI COURTING BABIL'S SCHOOL-AGED VOTERS

REF: HILLAH 00062

1. (U) This is a PRT Babil cable.

2. (U) The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq's (ISCI) latest
campaign venture in Babil province is the Safwa ("Pure")
Gathering. This organization focuses its efforts at college and
secondary-school students who are nearing or have recently
entered the voting-aged ranks. (Note: Voter eligibility age
will be defined by the draft elections law currently in the
Council of Representatives, and will require having reached 18
years of age in either the month or year in which the elections
take place. End Note.) Predominantly active at Babil
University, the Safwa leadership has spent the past two months
organizing its ranks of next-generation voters.

3. (U) ISCI regional slate coordinator Sayyid Shihab al-Yassiri
(aka Hafud al-Yassiri) [reftel] held a conference at the Babil
Labor Union convention center, adjacent to the Badr Office
Headquarters, on June 21 to further the Safwa Gathering's
efforts. In attendance were Babil Governor Salam Salih al-Mahdi
al-Muslimawi, ISCI and Badr officials, and more than one hundred
college students.

4. (U) While secondary school students prepare their late June
final examinations, the ISCI leaders distributed files
containing examinations from previous years. Although these
files are regularly available for purchase at local markets,
rarely are they distributed for free by politicians. Even more
uncommon is the cover page on the version distributed by the
Safwa Gathering - photographs of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani,
Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim, and Ayatollah Sayid Muhammad Baqir
al-Hakim.

YANAWAY

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