Thursday, February 10, 2005

This is a successful election?

from South Africa's Business Day. Harder to find in the US press because it might make you frown:

BAGHDAD — Iraqi officials said yesterday that they had to recount votes from about 300 ballot boxes because they were not properly sealed, delaying final results from landmark national elections.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other ballots were declared invalid because of alleged tampering. Postelection violence mounted, raising fears that the January 30 balloting had done little to ease the country’s grave security crisis....

...The most recent figures showed a coalition of Kurdish parties in second place behind a Shiite-dominated ticket endorsed by Iraq’s most revered Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

The ticket of interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite, was a distant third among the 111 candidate lists.

Allegations of voting irregularities, especially around the tense northern city of Mosul, have complicated the count. Some leading Sunni Arab and Christian politicians alleged that thousands of their supporters were denied the right to vote.

Election officials blamed the problems in the Mosul area on security, which prevented fewer than a third of the planned 330 polling centres from opening. Gunmen seized some of the ballot boxes, officials said.

I know what you're saying: Bush's hand-picked democrat Lieberman Allawi only came in third, and that proves the election wasn't engineered by the US.

I say Dubya is just concerned about Allawi getting cocky.