Babylon & Beyond

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IRAQ: 'Secret plan' will prevent voter fraud, polling official says

January 26, 2009 |  7:48 am

With the clock ticking down to a high-stakes, nationwide election, Iraqi polling officials on Monday sought to reassure voters that cheating would not taint Saturday's provincial balloting.

Judge Qasim Hassan Al-Aboudi, a member of Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission, said during a news conference that losing candidates were bound to make accusations of voter fraud, but only because they lost.

"This talk about voter fraud will emerge due to competition," the judge said. "We will hear much about this after the election results. The losers will impugn and talk about the integrity of the elections."

But Al-Aboudi said Iraqis could rest easy over the results. The commission, which is in charge of administering all national elections, had learned much from past referendums and had matters well in hand, he said.

"We have a secret plan that will totally stop any attempt at fraudulent votes," Al-Aboudi assured reporters.

-- Monte Morin in Baghdad