Tags: Attack on Turkmens in Iraq, ITF KERKUK ATTACKED
Iraqi Turkmen Front headquarters and TERT TV office attacked in Kerkuk
Tags: redrawing map of ME
How 5 Countries Could become 14
Tags: DUTAP MOZAIK BRUSSELS
DÜNYA TÜRKLERİ AVRUPA PLATFORMU (DÜTAP)
EUROPEAN PLATFORM OF TURKISH PEOPLE WORLDWIDE (DÜTAP)
Tags: Terrorist attacks
|Deadly attacks kill 5, wound 11 in Iraq|
Tags: Elections in KRG
Contradictory day for Iraqi Kurds
Last week’s smooth elections in the Iraqi Kurdish Region contrasted with the security problems in the rest of the country, writes Nermeen Al-Mufti in Baghdad
An Iraqi Kurdish woman casts her ballot during a regional election in Irbil (photo: Reuters)
Last Saturday was a clear example of the contradictory situation in Iraq, where there is security in the three northern provinces of the Iraqi Kurdish Region and insecurity in central and southern Iraq.
The three northern provinces took part in the general elections of the Kurdistan Region without any security violations or violence, while an attack in Baghdad’s Sadr City led to 78 people being killed and more than 120 wounded.
Tens of others were killed or wounded in other parts of Baghdad and many other provinces, especially in Diyala, 90km north-east of Baghdad, and Mosul about 400km north of Baghdad.
According to the country’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), 74 per cent of the 2.6 million registered voters participated in the Kurdish Region’s legislative elections to elect 111 members for the Kurdish parliament from 1,129 candidates, 399 female candidates among them.
The candidates came from 37 political parties and blocs. Among the 111 seats, are 11 quota seats for the Turkmens (five seats), the Christians (five seats) and the Armenians (one seat).
Unofficial results showed that the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of the region’s president Masoud Barzani had come out on top, winning 36 seats, while second had been the Gouran (Change) Movement, the main opposition party in the Kurdish Region, of party leader Noshirwan Mustafa with 26 seats.
Third had been the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Party (PUK) of the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, the main partner in the region’s local government, with 16 seats. Then had come the Kurdistan Islamic Unity Party with 10 seats, the Islamic Group with six seats, and the Communist Party, expected to win one seat.
The final and official results will be announced by the IHEC by the end of the week or later. According to political analysts, the results should show no differences, meaning that the PUK has now lost its position as the second main Party in the Kurdish Region.
IHEC Chairperson Serbest Mustafa said that the IHEC had finished the counting process and that the ballot papers would be sent to the checking centre in Erbil. The first part of the ballot papers would then be sent to Baghdad to be entered into the database of the national elections centre, he said.
Mustafa did not accept the results published by the media, but confirmed that the official results would be announced by the IHEC.
Hiwa Mohamed, an election monitor in Erbil, told Reuters that difficulties with the voting procedure may have kept some residents from casting their votes.
“The polling stations were crowded with voters because of technical difficulties with the machines. They were supposed to extend [the voting] by an extra hour because nearly 20 per cent of people could not cast their ballots,” he said. “There was a problem with the name logs, and we blame the electoral commission for this. Most people could not find their names in the logs.”
Despite such problems, the United Nations praised the “smooth conduct” of the elections.
The elections were the region’s first since July 2009. In Sulaimaniyah, once the stronghold of the PUK, there were three seats for Gouran and only one for the PUK.
A Kurdish political analyst who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that “people in Sulaimaniyah voted for Gouran because they were fed up with the corruption of the PUK.”
The analyst, who has been a PUK member since 1971, added that “I am sad at this end of my party, yet I am happy because the elections went smoothly, without any violations, and they succeeded.”
Saad Al-Anni, a political analyst from Baghdad, said “I expect that Gouran will now insist on being part of the region’s government, while the KDP may ask the PUK and Kurdistan Islamic Unity Party to form a coalition that will block the way in front of Gouran.”
Awaz Ahmed, a teacher from Erbil, said that “we expected the victory of the KDP for many reasons. We feel that Barzani has built our new lives. At the same time, the absence of Talabani affected the voters in Sulaimaniyah, plus the leading personalities of Gouran are from the PUK originally, having split off from it because of the corruption in the PUK.”
The next government in the Iraqi Kurdish Region will be under pressure from the ongoing war in Syria and how to manage the rising numbers of refugees. Iraqis also dream that the next government in the Region will be more cooperative with the central government in Baghdad in reducing political disputes, improving lives and enhancing security.
Until such dreams come true, however, the contradictory situation between Baghdad and Erbil is likely to continue.
Tags: muziq mozaik
Tags: DÜTAP KONFERANS BRUSSELS PARLEMENT
Tags: Bombing Shi'ite mourners
At least 65 killed in attack in Baghdad Shi’ite stronghold
BAGHDAD | Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:21pm EDT
(Reuters) – At least 65 people were killed in a triple bombing that targeted a tent filled with mourners in Baghdad’s Shi’ite Muslim stronghold of Sadr City on Saturday, police and medical sources said.
A car bomb went off near the tent where a funeral was being held, a suicide bomber driving a car then blew himself up, and a third explosion followed as police, ambulances and firefighter were gathering at the scene, police said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, in which at least 120 others were wounded, medics said.
“Crowds of people were visiting the tent to offer their condolences when suddenly a powerful blast … threw me to ground,” said 35-year-old Basim Raheem.
“When I tried to get up, a second blast happened. My clothes were covered with blood and human flesh. I thought I was wounded, but later discovered I was lying in a pool of others’ blood,” he added.
A Reuters reporter said distraught survivors attacked policemen and firefighters who tried to move them away from the scene. Puddles of blood surrounded the tent.
In a separate incident, at least eight people were killed when a car bomb exploded in a busy street in the predominantly Shi’ite Ur district of northern Baghdad, police said.
Iraq’s delicate sectarian balance has come under growing strain from the civil war in neighboring Syria, where mainly Sunni Muslim rebels are fighting to overthrow a leader backed by Shi’ite Iran.
Both Sunnis and Shi’ites have crossed into Syria from Iraq to fight on opposite sides of the conflict.
Al Qaeda’s Iraqi and Syrian branches merged earlier this year to form the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has claimed responsibility for attacks on both sides of the border.
Around 800 Iraqis were killed in acts of violence in August, according to the United Nations.
Earlier on Saturday, four attackers killed six officers in an assault on a police station in Baiji, about 110 miles north of Baghdad.
(Reporting by Kareem Raheem; Writing by Isabel Coles; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
Tags: Corrupt construction deals, Corruption in Iraq
Thursday, September 19, 2013
New Baghdad Administration Finds Millions Stolen In Corrupt Construction Deals
In September, new Baghdad Governor Ali al-Tamimi announced that tens of millions of dollars had been stolen by the previous provincial government. The governor held a press conference saying major politicians and businessmen from the previous administration were involved. He said one project had $68 million taken, while another had $18 million missing, and included such notable landmarks as the Baghdad Airport. In total, the new provincial council turned over 211 cases to the anti-corruption Integrity Commission to investigate. He added that none of the projects surpassed a 5% completion rate, and was the reason why the capital lacked essential services. Baghdad is not the only new local government that has charged the old one with stealing tons of money. Governor Tamimi also has a vested interest in condemning the former council. Tamimi is from the Sadr Trend, while his predecessor was from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law. One of the themes that the Sadrists have been pushing in recent years is that they are against corruption. Moqtada al-Sadr has also become increasingly critical of the premierin anticipation of the 2014 national vote. The governor therefore is killing two birds with one stone by bringing up these cases. He can try to win over the public with his claim of clean government, while taking on Maliki at the same time. The real question is if anything substantive will come of it. Iraq is rated one of the most corrupt countries in the world. That’s because graft has become institutionalized as a means of ruling the country. Taking money is considered part of the compensation for taking a public job, and accepting bribes is how things get done. Therefore there is no push to follow through on any major corruption case. Since these ones allegedly involve powerful people nothing will come of them, and Governor Tamimi is just looking to score political points by making them public.