14 February, 2005

Election irregularities in Kirkuk

Some allegations of Kurdish election-rigging in Kirkuk. That city is an area of some dispute, mostly because it contains a whole ton of oil. Saddam was in the habit of moving Kurds out of it. Post-invasion, many Kurds have been moving back, probably with the idea that Kirkuk would be a good city to have in an independent Kurdistan, if it comes to that (or maybe just with the idea that they want their homes back). Meanwhile, Arab and Turkmen residents of Kirkuk have not been happy about this.

So make of this what you will: some Arabs and Turkmen in Kirkuk are saying that thousands of Kurds were trucked into the city to vote in the elections, and basically that the votes in Kirkuk were a farce. Some are alleging even worse irregularities, like the well-worn ploy of having dead people vote.

The PUK response was pretty blithe:
"Unfortunately, the Arabs and Turkmen do not understand democracy," Rajkar Ali, a candidate for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) for the election, said.

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