Democracy and Elections

Final Report of Tammuz Organization about its observation of special voting for the elections of Provisional Councils on 13th of April.2013

Tammuz Organization for Social Development started its observation to election of provisional councils and completing of the electoral processes with the first stage of special voting after Tammuz Organization observed the adjustment process of the elections law and record the political entities, coalitions and candidates, and it also continues to observe the electoral campaigns that are started in March and ended on 19th of April.2013, and it issued many reports, recommendations and notes about the previous elections.
Independent High Electoral Commission has opened 420 electoral stations for special voting of the security forces, and the number of those who are entitled to vote of special security devices 651 thousand voters after deleting voters of Nineveh and Anbar provinces because of delay elections there. The election commission ruled out 46323 voters of special voting because of problems in their documents and data and announced that they can participate in the public election on 20th of April.2013.
Organization observed the special voting in the included provinces to vote on the last Saturday 13th of April 2013, where spreading 1122 observers on the electoral stations in all provinces. Noted that organization and its observers worked voluntarily in monitoring the election centers since they opened at seven in the morning until closed at five in the afternoon; our observers recorded a number of positive and negative notes:

Opening stage of ballot stations:
1. Easy find the electoral stations of special voting.
2. Enough security of the electoral stations by the security forces.
3. The existence of commission staffs in the electoral stations on time.
4. Prepare well by the Independent High Electoral Commission in terms of providing all logistical matters of elections and the most important of them (the voter register, ballot papers, ballot box, polling booths and ink) in most of the polling stations in all provinces.
5. Open most of the electoral stations on time at the seven o’clock in the morning.
6. The opening process has happened according to standards of counting ballot papers through show ballot box, its locks and fixing numbers and distributes team members of station according to their task, and this indicate to previous training of commission staff to get experience.
7. It was noticed the presence of voters before open the electoral stations.
8. The presence a number of entities attorney before opening the electoral stations.
9. The presence of electoral propagandas near of a number of the electoral stations.

Election Stage:
1. Good attendance on the polling stations since the first hour of the elections in whole of included governors in voting, and this indicate to a big rate of participation in the special voting from Defense and Interior forces.
2. It was noticed the presence of the attorney of political entities during the polling period in a big number of the electoral stations in whole provinces.
3. The polling process was in high steaming way in most stations, and well organized of the voters in the elections.
4. The performance and cooperation commission offices were good.
5. Stability of the security situation in spite of the security forces voting and there is no security breach; this was good indicating.
6. The presence of different Medias in the special polling stations to cover the ballot process.
7. The lack of names of the voters’ register of the security forces, which we expect happening because of poor coordination between the security ministries and the Independent High Electoral Commission.
8. It was noticed the electoral propaganda near of many election stations in Baghdad and provinces such as propaganda of political entity near of al-Tadamn School (28235) in Maysan province, and it was notified the manager of station and he removed it. In Najaf in al-Mustafa School (Muslim Ibn Aqeel) (265250), arriving car and carry voters and propaganda of list 411 near the electoral station. In Wasit province, one of candidate distributes the electoral propaganda at a distance 10 meters from the electoral station Rabab no (178350) in Kut. In Dhi Qar province, our observers monitored in al-Ohda School for Girls (286251) where some of voters shout for Law State List. In Muthana in al-Kharbi Station no. (172151), one of candidates of National Iraqi Alliance distributes propaganda cards for army and police forces in the station. In Dialya province, it was monitored the electoral propaganda in al-Khalis Station no (2494) at a distance 10 meters of the station for National Diyala Alliance (501), and spreading the supports inside station and there is no attorneys of any political entities, in addition to the presence attorney of the same political entity of the police employee inside the electoral station, and they also noticed that one of officers with rank of brigadier general in the door of station orders soldiers in voting. In Hai al-Rabi’I Station in al-Entisar School for Girls (105550), it was controlled the electoral propaganda at a distance 15 meters of the station for al-Mutahidon List for candidates no. (50, 51 & 99), and there is also Madanion Qadimon List (446) for candidate no (6).
9. Confusion in the queue of voters where a number of polling stations in Baghdad / al-Mansour-al-Entifadah School of Muthanna Station number (103850), and Hai al-Rabi’i station, al-Suleikh, al-Kri’at and in Masoudi school in Baghdad / Rusafa No. (206 750) has got verbal altercations with staff Commission because there is no organized queue for voters. Shooting in the air from one of stations (Muthanna) has occurred, causing the withdrawal dozens of voters. It was the use of the electorate officers in order to regulate the access to polling stations, and this is also what happened in the Oqba Bin Nafah Secondary School number station (144 150) in Salahuddin province, where it witnessed the chaos due to the large numbers of voters who are not in a good organization.
10. The lack of local and international observers
11. The presence of the political entities attorneys among voters outer of the electoral stations
12. Some voters do not put their forefingers on ink as in Baghdad province in Hai al-Rabi’I station in al-Entisar School for Girls (105550), where some of them put other fingers in ink, which led observers to inform the director of station.
13. It was arrested one our observers in Najaf in al-Wwardi Station number (265050) by the security forces, and the confiscation his Mobile because of filming the propaganda near the center publicity, and after that the office of electoral commission in Najaf solve the problem and was released him and return him to monitor his task
14. al-Masodi School station in Baghdad/al-Resafa (206750) and a big number of voters did not found their names in the registers and there are mistakes in names of some voters and in this way they cannot vote.
15. Some voters in the electoral stations (105550) in Resafa / Baghdad carry copy of ID cards for that some of them permit to vote but others not.
16. It was noted there are mistakes in the voter register and the deal with them was differently by the Commission staff between the center and other, where some was allowed voters to vote with an error in the name of the father or grandfather, but some were refused it and prevents the voter from voting.
17. More than eighty complaints have recorded by political entities register.
18. The report of our observers referred to the total rate of participants exceed to 7%.

Phase locking and closing of polling stations:
•    It was closed the electoral stations on time at five o’clock in the afternoon
•    It has allowed voters who are in the queue to vote
•    The closure of the ballot box was closed with fifth lock accordance with the regulations and procedures
Stage of Count and Sort:
•    It was transferred the ballot boxes to the electoral commission offices according to each province, and the transferring was by the staff of commission and the security forces
•    The process of counting did not take place and not open the box, where they will be counting votes in a uniform manner a day after a public ballot on Sunday, April 21, 2013
•    Commission will continue the process locks of special voting boxes, and  supposed to be completed before public polling process, and this process takes place in commission offices in the provinces

Recommendations and Conclusions:
1. There is worry by the political blocs and we as an observers because of deportation 46323 voters of the security forces of the private voting to the public voting because the presence mistakes in their information. We confirm the importance of giving right in voting and are not deprived, but we are afraid of the possibility of participation other voters of the security forces with this excuse on the public vote. Especially that the period between the public and private sectors to vote for a long reach for a week, this raises doubts and fears by the political blocs and call Commission to audit the names of those voters in the public record when checking and matching the counting stage.
2. Using ink also proved to be inefficient and can be removed with chemical materials that are available and cheap, we do not know Is the Commission will use the same ink in the current voting of the year? What is the Commission’s position on the body that came to this kind of ink?
3. There are questioning about the number of voters in the special voting, and there are points says that number exceeds one million voters, and this raises suspicion and controversy, and the Commission and the military institution in the defense and interior must explain circumstances of the conflicting figures to the citizens.
4. Emphasize the importance of the presence of political entities attorneys and coalitions in all polling stations in the public voting to reduce fraud, which is likely to occur in the absence of attorneys and observers of political entities and civil society organizations.
5. Coordination among control networks of civil society organizations for the purpose of disseminating observers and cover all the centers and stations of public polling on April 20, 2013
6. We call on all voters to positive participate in voting next Saturday on April 20, 2013 and miss the opportunity for who think in votes-rigging and counting it to a certain political party.
7. The current board of commission must seriously think to apply modern methods of voting, detection of fraud and the use of smart card or electronic voting.
8. The need to conduct the census, which solves many problems for us including the election and questioning the numbers and determine the numbers of seats and other
9. The need for legislation law of parties.
10. The need to enact a law regulating the election campaigns and reduce abuses, violations and inequality in election campaigns.

It should be noted that the coordinators and monitors of organizations have made several meetings with satellite channels and radio stations, including meetings with Arab and Alsumaria TV, al-Hurra Iraq and Rasheed in Baghdad, and with al-Sharqia, al-Salam, al-Rasheed, al-Fayhaa, Baghdad Channel in Anbar, Fallujah and in Dhi Qar in meetings with Asuat Iraq Agency, Nasiriyah News Network,  al-Akhbariya Netwrok, South Agency, al-Furat channel, al-Madah Agency and Global Agencies, as it has been declared to al-Ahad, Sawa and al-Na’as radio.
 Note that our organization has reliable observers participating in all electoral processes since 2005 arriving to the elections of provisional councils 2013, and many of the observers previously participate in monitoring the elections in a number of Arab and European countries, and the organization is one of the founding organizations of the Democratic Arab Network of elections in the Arab region.
It is mentioned that the organization observers these elections with volunteer’s efforts and provide the supplies and logistic support of observers which including:
1-Updating information and observing systems for observers
2-Copy and distribute introduction cards that carry the logo of organization
3-Provide special clothes for observers that carry logo of organization
4-Copy and distribute application forms of opening and ballot monitored and the forms of counting and sorting, and introduce rights of observer and the rules of conduct referenda and election observers.

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