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Cablegate: Prt Tikrit: Could a List-Based Election Threaten

VZCZCXRO2967
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2343 1961226
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151226Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2229
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 002343

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: PRT TIKRIT: COULD A LIST-BASED ELECTION THREATEN
ANOTHER SUNNI BOYCOTT IN SALAH AD DIN?


1. (U) This is a PRT Tikrit, Salah ad Din cable.

2. (SBU) Most residents in the province of Salah ad Din (SaD)
want elections to happen as soon as possible. They
acknowledge that the boycott of the 2005 poll was a serious
political misstep, and they are keen to correct it. In
addition to wanting better representatives elected to
national positions, they would also like to correct the
geographic imbalance at the Provincial Council, which has no
or limited representation from some major cities, including
Bayji and Samarra. Would-be candidates and residents
generally have weak ties to political parties, with most
declaring themselves "independent." The list-based system of
the previous elections, which required voters to select
political parties rather than individual candidates, is
universally disliked.

3. (SBU) Most in the province see the list-based electoral
system as the reason that Iraqi politics have become so
sectarian and that "deserters," Iraqis who left the country
during the former regime, are now in positions of power.
Several provincial government officials have said that how
the elections are conducted is critical to seeing the
province participate. The Governor has even said he will
ensure that the next elections see candidates selected, not
political parties.

-------
Comment
-------
4. (SBU) If the list-based electoral system remains intact,
it is possible a number of Sunnis in Salah ad Din will
boycott the elections again. In the balance of the next
elections, whenever they occur, hangs SaD Sunnis' perception
that the GOI and provincial government are legitimate
institutions and that Iraq's democracy allows for equal
participation from individuals who held low-level or
technocratic positions in the former regime. Although many
in the province, especially the tribal leadership, are taking
steps to fight al Qaeda, much work still remains to bring SaD
Sunnis fully into the political fold and to see democratic
institution take hold popularly.

5. (U) For additional reporting from PRT Tikrit, Salah ad
Din, please see our SIPRNET Reporting Blog:
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Tikrit
CROCKER

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