Thursday, January 13, 2005

Israelis of Iraqi origin can vote in elections for Baghdad parliament

Can you imagine if it is a close race and the Israelis end up deciding the elections? -EoZ

Anyone who is or once was an Iraqi citizen, even if he was deprived of the citizenship, is eligible to vote, Sarah Tosh, spokesperson for Iraq's out-of-country-voting (OCV) central headquarters, said yesterday.

"There are no restrictions on Iraqis on the basis of religion, race or sex," said Tosh. "This definitely includes those who are Israeli citizens today."

Anyone who has an original Iraqi birth certificate may take part in the vote. Other required certificates are an Iraqi passport, an identity card, or a form from the Iraqi population registrar testifying that the holder is or was an Iraqi citizen.

"I call on everyone who lives in the free states to come and vote, to provide a counter balance to the voters from other countries," said Mithal al-Alousi, the Iraqi politician who visited Israel last year and is today the secretary general of the Democratic Party of the Iraqi nation. He was referring to hundreds of thousands of votes that will come from ballots posted in Iran.

Some 130,000 Jews emigrated from Iraq to Israel after it's establishment, decimating one of the oldest Jewish communities in the Arab world. The Jews left considerable property behind, as the Iraqi government forbade them to take it out of the country or sell it.