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Cablegate: Canada Issues Strong Statement of Support For

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

162134Z Dec 05

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 OTTAWA 003697

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IZ CA KDEM KPAO PREL PGOV
SUBJECT: CANADA ISSUES STRONG STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR
IRAQI PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS

REF: SECSTATE 225860

1. (SBU) Summary: The Government of Canada has issued a very
strong statement of support for Iraq's Parliamentary
Elections. Text is carried in para 4. The Ambassador has
and will continue to cite the elections as a positive
development in his public appearances. In addition,
Elections Canada, which led the International Mission for
Iraqi Elections (IMIE), has praised the way in which the
elections were conducted. Its statement is contained in
para. 5. End Summary

2. (SBU) Elections Canada head Jean Pierre Kingsley called
the Embassy December 15 in the afternoon to report back from
his election monitoring teams in Amman and Baghdad. Kingsley
said the IMIE was able to successfully tie in the EU team and
other national and independent monitors and believe this will
yield an even more thorough review than in the previous
round. In general, Kingsley said that the monitoring was
going smoothly and the election itself appeared to be the
best organized yet. With 3 hours to go he reported 50%
turnout, and expected the end of the day total turnout to be
60-70%, with substantial Sunni participation. He reported
some problems in the north with distribution of voting
materials, and a slow opening in Fallujah, but overall less
violence than in the past. Kingsley said that his observers
will be participating in extensive media events later in the
day, and he was pressing for a strong statement of support by
the Arab League and other observer groups.

3. (SBU) Ambassador called Kingsley to congratulate him on
December 16 and Kingsley was very appreciative of the
recognition. Ambassador will publicly praise the involvement
of the Government of Canada in leading this very successful
monitoring effort. Any statements by Department officials to
this end would also be appreciated by the Government of
Canada and would help to maintain Canadian involvement in the
next phase of the electoral process in Iraq, building an
indigenous capacity, something Canada has expressed an
interest in actively supporting.

4. (U) Statements by the GOC and Elections Canada are
included below:

Text of Statement by the Government of Canada on Iraq's
Parliamentary Elections:

Begin Text:

The Government of Canada today issued the following statement
on the election of the Council of Representatives in Iraq:

We wish to offer our congratulations to the people of Iraq on
their participation in this election, whether from their
homeland or from one of the 15 countries, including Canada,
where they were able to vote.

We are pleased to note the positive preliminary assessment of
the organization and conduct of the polling, carried out by
the International Mission for Iraqi Elections (IMIE) led by
Jean-Pierre Kingsley, Chair of the IMIE and Chief Electoral
Officer of Canada. Although some issues will merit further
review, early indications are that the elections were fair
overall. This election marks the final step in Iraq's
transition to democracy, as specified in June 2004 by the
United Nations Security Council.

We praise the courage demonstrated by voters and candidates
throughout the various stages of Iraq's transition to
democracy. Despite the high level of personal risk involved,
the citizens of Iraq proved their commitment to democratic
change. Thanks to their determination, Iraqis will have a
democratically elected government derived from their own
constitution, which was endorsed in a referendum last October.

We are particularly pleased to note that Iraqis from all
regions, including provinces with a Sunni Arab majority, have
participated in this election, and that the new electoral
system ensures a fair representation of Iraq's minorities.
This should provide the new Iraqi government with the
broad-based representation and enhanced legitimacy it needs
to further develop a national consensus on the future of Iraq.

Canada will continue to assist the Iraqi government in its
efforts to implement the new constitution and to build
democratic and effective governing institutions, in
collaboration with the United Nations and the international
community. In 2003, Canada established a $300-million
development fund to assist in the reconstruction of Iraq, to
be disbursed by the end of 2010. End Text

5. (U) Text of Preliminary Assessment of Iraqi Referendum by
the International Mission for Iraqi Elections (IMIE); Amman,
Jordan, October 15, 2005
Begin Text:

The International Mission for Iraqi Elections (IMIE) has been
meeting in Amman, Jordan, to review preliminary assessments
on the preparations for and conduct of the Iraqi
constitutional referendum. These preliminary assessments are
based on information prepared for the IMIE by international
electoral experts, and on reports from the IMIE field office
in Iraq, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and domestic
observer groups. The IMIE will further analyze these reports
and assessments, and will publish its findings on the IMIE
Web site (www.imie.ca) and provide them to the Independent
Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI).

These preliminary assessments and observations indicate that
the IECI has made significant operational improvements since
the January 2005 elections.

"The IMIE is encouraged by these assessments. They have
highlighted that, despite the tremendous security risks and
obvious logistical difficulties which exist in Iraq, the IECI
has developed and implemented a referendum process that
generally conforms to internationally recognized electoral
standards. These include the legal framework, planning,
procedures and logistics," said Paul Dacey, Vice-Chair of the
IMIE Steering Committee and Deputy Electoral Commissioner
from the Australian Electoral Commission.

"The IECI is to be congratulated on its tremendous
achievements, as it continues building the necessary
foundations to ensure the progress of democracy in Iraq,
particularly given the short time frames and extremely
difficult circumstances facing Iraq in this period of
transition," added Dr. Zoltan Toth, fellow IMIE Steering
Committee member and Secretary-General of the Association of
Central and Eastern European Election Officials.

The IMIE's early assessments identify the many positive
aspects of today's referendum, including the extent and
quality of the IECI's overall planning and operations, the
updating of the voters register and the voter education
initiatives that were established.

Farouq Al-Amad, General Coordinator, Arab Commission for
Civil Society, League of Arab States, said that he "welcomed
the continued involvement of the IMIE in the process in Iraq
and for its ongoing assistance as Iraq heads toward the
national election in December. The IMIE adds an important
dimension to the processes of openness, transparency and
coordination."

"The courage and personal resolve of the people of Iraq to
turn out to vote in such large numbers, particularly in the
face of such personal risks and threats is nothing but
admirable," said Mr. Dacey.

The IMIE preliminary reports stressed that the IECI has been
under significant pressure to manage three electoral events
within a period of one year. In many countries with
long-established democratic institutions, such a major
undertaking would be a significant, perhaps insurmountable
challenge. The IMIE congratulates the IECI for its ability to
perform under demanding time frames, difficult security
conditions and close scrutiny by the international community.

The IMIE would also like to acknowledge the professionalism
of the IECI in reacting to procedural issues as they arose
during the day.

The IMIE views the upcoming December 15 elections for the
Iraqi National Assembly as a crucial step forward in the
democratic electoral process in Iraq and looks forward to the
continuation of its advisory role to the IECI.
End Text

Visit Canada's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/ottawa

WILKINS

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