Voter Turnout in Iraq Is Mixed
Official: Voter Turnout in Iraq Is Mixed
Saturday October 15, 2005 5:01 PM
By SINAN SALAHEDDIN
Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Voting in Iraq's predominantly
Shiite Muslim south was very high in Saturday's
constitutional referendum, but turnout in Anbar, the
mostly Sunni Arab province where insurgents are
active, was low because of fears of violence, a U.N.
Carina Perelli, director of the Electoral Assistance
Division of the United Nations, said she had not yet
heard about voting in the heavily Kurdish areas of
``The report that we have right now basically is the
voting in the south is ... extremely high,'' Perelli
told The Associated Press just after the polls closed
at 5 p.m.
``The early indication is that the voting Anbar is
extremely low because of the special circumstance of
that province,'' she said.
Perelli said voter turnout was very steady in many
other mostly Sunni regions, which boycotted
legislative elections in January.
She could not give exact turnout figures or any
indication of vote results.
Ratification of the constitution, which was strongly
favored by the Shiite majority and Kurds, requires
approval by a majority of voters nationwide. However,
if two-thirds of voters in any three of Iraq's 18
provinces vote ``no,'' the charter will be defeated,
and Sunni Arabs had a chance of swinging the ballot in
four volatile provinces, including Anbar.
Perelli said there had been far fewer insurgent
attacks than expected at the thousands of heavily
protected polling stations across Iraq.
``It has been very peaceful,'' she said.