Australian Assyrians Protest Iraq Voter Lockout
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Sydney (AINA) -- Australian Assyrians gathered in Sydney today to protest the lockout of Assyrian, Turkmen and Yezidi voters in the Iraq election. The demonstrators delivered the following letter to the US consulate:

Monday 14th of February
The ChaldoAssyrianSyriac Nation
(election group) Australia
PO Box 344
Fairfield 2165
Sydney, Australia

George W.Bush
President of the United States of America
Consulate General of United States , Sydney
MLC Centre
Level 59, 19-20 Martin Place
Sydney, NSW 2000

Dear Sir

We, the ChaldoAssyrian community of Australia, would like to voice our concern regarding the recent election in Iraq, which has prematurely been hailed as a resounding success in bringing democracy to Iraq. In this regard we would like to highlight the exclusion of an electorate of nearly 200,000 voters in the Nineveh Plains in Northern Iraq, and the questionable voting processes which led to this exclusion. We maintain that the omission of this electorate was a deliberate act.

The Iraqi elections have thus disenfranchised the ChaldoAssyrian community. Hundreds of thousands of ChaldoAssyrians were deliberately blocked from exercising their democratic privilege to vote and, hence to secure recognition and representation in the new democratic Iraqi government.

As the indigenous population of Iraq, ChaldoAssyrians have suffered persecution, oppression and repeated attempts at genocide in its various forms. The ChaldoAssyrians comprise approximately 5% of the total Iraqi population, a large proportion of whom reside in the northern towns that were prevented from taking part in the election. Their prevention from voting and being represented in the new democratic government amounts to political genocide. It denies them representation, recognition and rights as citizens of Iraq in the new constitution.

Mr Stephen Pound MP in his address to the Parliament of the United Kingdom in December 2004 stressed that unlike the Kurds and the Arabs in Iraq, the ChaldoAssyrians are highly vulnerable and under siege. There is a real and genuine possibility that this community in Iraq will be reduced to a tiny remnant.

The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) is the official body responsible for ensuring the prompt delivery of ballot papers, boxes and voting materials to all polling stations throughout the country.

We maintain that the IECI have failed in their fundamental duty and function to act independently and without bias in ensuring that all Iraqi citizens are equally afforded the opportunity to vote. We also maintain that in addition to the omission of the ChaldoAssyrian electorate, the outcome of the election is further undermined by irregularities including massive scale stacking, registration of ineligible voters and more importantly the failure to deliver ballot boxes and materials to various voting centres.

Due to the unreliable conduct of the IECI, we reject the findings of their subsequent investigation of this issue. We hold that the exclusion of the ChaldoAssyrian community was deliberate and call upon the US and Australian Governments to conduct an independent investigation into the alleged voting irregularities.

From the outset, the governments of Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom have stressed their commitment to establishing a true democracy in Iraq. In keeping with this commitment, we respectfully ask that you take the necessary steps to rectify this situation and ensure that the ChaldoAssyrian population of Iraq are finally afforded political recognition, security and rights as citizens of Iraq.

Yours Sincerely
The ChaldoAssyrianSyriac Nation (election group) in Australia

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