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Thread: Curfew on election campaign in northern Iraqi province 2/19

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    Curfew on election campaign in northern Iraqi province 2/19

    Curfew on election campaign in northern Iraqi province

    Supporters of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) stick an election
    The fight to save Baghdad's historic buildings AFP Play Video Iraq Video:Around the World: 2/18 FOX News by Shwan Mohammed Shwan Mohammed Fri Feb 19, 9:22 am ET
    SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq (AFP) A curfew on campaigning was imposed Friday in a province of northern Iraq that has become a fierce battleground for Kurdish votes in the run-up to the country's March 7 general election.

    Campaigning in Sulaimaniyah will be banned from 9:OO pm until 6:00 am, election organisers said, a decision that came in the wake of several violent incidents including a shooting that saw three political activists wounded.

    A statement said the curfew would apply throughout the province and would last until the end of campaigning on March 5 and the restrictions had been recommended by a local government security committee.

    It will "protect the process of campaigning for the political entities and candidates, prevent any traffic accidents, and protect citizens in the province," the statement from election organisers said.

    "Anyone who infringes the curfew will be punished," it added, without giving further details.

    Sulaimaniyah, 270 kilometres (170 miles) north of Baghdad, is the focus of considerable tension between rival Kurdish parties, vying for maximum leverage in the event of Kurds being possible kingmakers in Iraq's next government.

    Security forces loyal to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) were accused Thursday of having shot and wounded three people from the rival Goran (change in Kurdish) bloc in a clash at a political meeting in Sulaimaniyah, a stronghold of Talabani supporters.

    The incident occurred late Tuesday as activists from the Goran party, which emerged in regional elections last year as a rival to the two main Kurdish parties, the PUK and the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party), of regional president Massud Barzani, gathered.

    Goran, which is seen as a significant threat to the PUK and KDP in the upcoming national ballot, blamed forces connected to Talabani for the incident.

    In response, a spokesman for Sulaimaniyah's security committee, Zana Hama Saleh, said PUK forces had arrested 11 people at the meeting, some of whom had shot their weapons in the air, and that three people were wounded.

    Iraq's Kurdish politicians, who are locked in a dispute with the central government in Baghdad over territory and oil rights, will lack unity for the first time in an Iraqi general election due to the rise of the Goran opposition.

    The split last year fractured an alliance that Kurdish parties had presented in all polls since the overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    Goran came to prominence when it won a surprising 23.57 percent of the vote in northern Iraq's regional election in July, after a campaign focused on the alleged corruption and hegemony of the KDP and PUK.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100219/wl ... ZBED_5SpZ4

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    Re: Curfew on election campaign in northern Iraqi province 2/19

    Thanks for the post.

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