Wednesday, April 30, 2014

30 April 2014

It is now 5:00 p.m. local time in Ramadi and balloting is still underway. Voting has been moderate according to political observers in Anbar. There have been numerous irregularities as well as security violations.

Two houses were blown up today: one was the home of Khalid Al-Alwani, a member of the Iraqi parliament; the second was the home of Hameed Hashem, a member of the Anbar Governorate Council in Fallujah.

Elsewhere, mortar rounds have struck a number of polling centers in Anbar, the most significant being the polling station in central Ramadi. Two explosive devices were detonated in Al-Kubaisa township in western Anbar, and a number of mortar rounds were targeted at a number of polling stations in Hit, also in western Anbar.
Voter participation has been moderate throughout Anbar. Among the many irregularities was the absence of polling centers in areas that had been designated as additional polling venues to replace the ones within the cities.

Voter turnout in Hit was very low (about 5%). The turnout in the rural areas around Ramadi was relatively high, with the exception of the city's southern and southwestern sectors where the turnout was low. The highest turnouts in Anbar were reported in Ana and Al-Qa'im townships. Objections are still being raised by representatives of the competing blocs, most prominent of which were those involving the intervention by the army that blatantly called on voters to cast their ballot in favor of particular entities.

Voting is still underway, but there is some voter disapproval of the curfews that have prevented them from getting to the polling centers that are within the cities while they are now living outside them, requiring voters to travel long distances that they cannot cover on foot. The army has not undertaken to transport them and there are still a number of western regions whose residents are facing difficulties in reaching their designated polling centers, especially those in Ramadi.

Among other problems, a technical breakdown of the electronic polling equipment, and the late arrival of some centers' personnel, in addition to the absence of female supervisors which delayed women from casting their ballots, especially in the governorate's western regions.

There has been no balloting in Al-Garma, Fallujah, and Al-Saqlawiya in eastern Anbar, because of the ongoing security operations.

Military operations are still ongoing in many of the districts of these population centers.

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