- Title: SWITZERLAND: STRONG TURNOUT EXPECTED IN IRAQI ELECTIONS AMONG EXPATRIOT VOTERS
- Date: 20th January 2005
- Summary: (W3) GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (JANUARY 20,2005) (REUTERS) 1. EXTERIOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION FOR MIGRATION HEADQUARTERS 0.04 2. CU: IOM FLAG 0.09 3. SIGN READING INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION FOR MIGRATION 0.13 4. IOM DIRECTOR GENERAL BRUNSON McKINLEY ENTERING AN OFFICE 0.21 5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IOM DIRECTOR GENERAL BRUNSON McKINLEY SAYING: "I am pleased of the way it is going because the set up is working, the Iraqi voters out of the country are happy and we haven't heard any incident so far so... so far so good." 0.36 6. IOM DIRECTOR GENERAL BRUNSON McKINLEY SPEAKING TO JOURNALIST 0.37 7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IOM DIRECTOR GENERAL BRUNSON McKINLEY SAYING: "There seems to be an enthusiam in the overseas Iraqi communities. They seem to be showing up. The numbers are not very large right now but we only had two full days, three now I guess, of registration. We are going to run it for a week, we expected it would probably be end loaded, that is more people will show up at the end once word has spread and they really know how to do it." 1.04 8. IOM DIRECTOR GENERAL BRUNSON McKINLEY SPEAKING TO JOURNALIST 1.06 9. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IOM DIRECTOR GENERAL BRUNSON McKINLEY SAYING: "So far this question of documentation and identity has worked pretty well, we didn't know whether people would come in with lot of bad documents or no documents or confusing... 1.41 10. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IOM DIRECTOR GENERAL BRUNSON McKINLEY SAYING: "At the end of the day that added more expense, people, to move all these ballots back... it did seem like it could be a security threat to have the whole out-of-the country election concentrated in one spot, that makes a pretty good target. We finally decided we would count at each location, so there will be in fact 75 different counts and you have to have those certified, you have to have monitors coming in, you have to be sure that nothing goes wrong at the counting fees and then we will report, probably with a few days of delay so to the extent that the out country, part of the election could have an effect on the outcome, that might cause it to be, cause the announcement to be a few days later than otherwise but we think that this is the safest, the surest, most accurate way to do it and this is the way we are going to do it." 2.40 11. TILT: EXTERIOR - IOM FLAG FLYING 2.48 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 4th February 2005 12:00
- Location: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Reuters ID: LVA9W7F72UWXT6JL7DDAYWVSPFIW
- Story Text: Strong turnout expected in Iraqi elections among
expatriot Iraqi voters.
A strong turnout is expected in Iraq's January 30
elections among the roughly one million Iraqis eligible to
vote abroad, many of whom fled Saddam Hussein's rule, the
agency handling the voting programme said on Thursday
A total of 25,468 expatriate Iraqis registered to vote
on the third day of registration for the International
Organisation for Migrations (IOM) Out-of-Country Voting
(OCV) Programme for Iraq's Transitional National Assembly
Election. This brings the total number of registrants to
"I am pleased of the way it is going because the set up
is working, the Iraqi voters out of the country are happy
and we haven't heard any incident so far so... so far so
"There seems to be an enthusiam in the overseas Iraqi
communities. They seem to be showing up," IOM Director
General Brunson McKinley told Reuters.
On 17 January, Iraq Out-Of-Country (OCV) opened 75
registration facilities in the 14 countries hosting the
Program across the Middle East, North America, Europe and
Australia, in the selected cities that have the largest
numbers of expatriates. Registration is necessary for any
expatriate Iraqi wanting to participate in the
Out-of-Country Vote. They can then vote at the same centres
from Jan. 28-30, helping to elect a transitional national
McKinley said that anyone who can produce official
documents proving they were born in Iraq is elegible to
vote in the country's first democratic election.
"So far this question of documentation and identity has
worked pretty well, we didn't know whether people would
come in with a lot of bad documents or no documents or
documents... So far that hasn't happened. Most of the
Iraqis do have the kinds of legitimate papers they need to
prove their identity... That part has worked very well,"
About four million Iraqis are believed to be living
outside the country and there has been heated debate in
Iraq over whether they should be allowed to cast absentee
Up to a million people outside Iraq may be eligible to
take part in the poll.
At home, all Iraqis aged over 18 on January 1 can vote,
perhaps 15 million out of a population of 26 million.
The IOM, picked to organise the overseas vote by the
interim Iraqi government, has found if difficult to
discover quickly which countries most overseas Iraqis live
in, and to set up well-publicised registration and voting
Millions of Iraqis fled their homeland during the rule
of Saddam Hussein, who crushed political liberties and
dragged the country through a series of costly wars.
Countries with the largest numbers of Iraqis are Syria
with an estimated 250,000 Iraqi voters, the United States
with at least 200,000 and Britain with 150,000 voters and
the biggest Iraqi population in Europe. Jordan, Iran and
Germany are also home to many Iraqis.
The election commission of Iraq authorised IOM to spend
up to 92 million U.S. dollars for the whole operation.
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