Maram Movement Forms to Protest Iraqi Election Results

Mohammed at Iraq the Model has extensive coverage of a movement calling itself “Maram” that has arisen in protest of what it claims are rigged results from last week’s elections in Iraq.

Today the Accord Front organized a huge demonstration in the western half of Baghdad where demonstrators carried banners and chanted slogans accusing the election committee of fraud and bias, this news story by an AP writer estimates the crowds by twenty thousands while the Baghdad TV that speaks for the Accord Front says more than a million men and women were there. No accurate figure can be reached but the demonstrators marched through Baghdad’s widest street “the four streets” in Yarmouk district filled the street for kilometers and in my opinion being able to organize such a huge demonstration suggests that the Front does have a very strong public base in Baghdad that many thousands answered the call within a one-day notice. (Demonstration Video from Baghdad TV).

This joint effort between Sunni Islamists, Sunni and Shia seculars as well as communists in spite of the great differences in their points of view reflects the depth of the worries shared by those parties about having one party monopolize power. Politicians and demonstrators expressed their disappointment with the performance of the election commission and the violations of the UIA, some felt that the Sunni had been tricked into the political process and think there are two theories, either the international community knew what was going to happen and closed an eye on it or it was also fooled by the other parties [UIA] now the world has to either stand on their (the Sunni) side or confront them. In general, most of the reactions are angry.

[…]

The first method of pressure is through supporting the parties that reject the results and giving them the green light to push the limits of their demands from demanding redoing the elections in Baghdad alone to redoing the elections nationwide.
The second way takes the form of searching for evidence of fraud that prove the involvement of the UIA; this has included several arrests for officials in the south especially in Kut where the ballot-loaded truck allegedly was found in.

We shall see if anything comes of this. Sadly, While I would be quite pleased if a secular government formed in Iraq, I have yet to see any real evidence that the elections are rigged. The one report of a ballot-loaded truck we saw previously has been deemed a hoax.

So far, the U.S. government is taking the stance that the elections were as legitimate as could be expected. We’ve got over 100,000 troops on the ground, so you think we would have some reasonable idea.

Previously at OTB:

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    So far, the U.S. government is taking the stance that the elections were as legitimate as could be expected. We’ve got over 100,000 troops on the ground, so you think we would have some reasonable idea.

    Well, as I recall it James, our people were staged well away form the voting areas, and the Iraqi forces were at the polling places themselves. Reason: to avoid the perception of the US Troops being there to lean the election one way or another.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Sure. But 100,000 plus troops nonetheless make for a pretty significant intelligence network. One would think they’d have seen or heard something.

  3. Herb Ely says:

    One wonders if anyone invited Jimmy Carter to cerify the results. He could show up in the Venezuelan election, why not Iraq? not that it would have made a difference.

  4. FredW says:

    I would tell the Iraqis not worry — government dominated by one party is a good thing, as we have learned here.