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January 30, 2005
AL-JAZEERA TV SPECIAL PROGRAMMING ON IRAQI ELECTION DAY
Following its 1400 news summary, Al-Jazeera airs a 4-minute video report on US and EU promotion of Iraqi elections and the arguments made by those calling for a boycott.
At 1420 gmt, presenter Jamil Azar interviews via satellite Peter Erben, director of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Worldwide Programme, in Amman, to comment on worldwide voter turnout, the Iraqi elections in comparison to those previously held in Afghanistan, future UN role in Iraq and the some groups' boycott of the elections.
At 1426 gmt, Azar interviews live via satellite P.J. Crowley, former special assistant to the president of the United States for national security affairs, in Al-Jazeera's Washington studios. Crowley is asked to comment on speculates about the US Administration wanting to escape from Iraq via the elections, the US role in Iraq following the elections and how this role may be affected by future Iraqi ties with the countries in the region, especially Iran and Turkey.
Al-Jazeera airs at 1432 gmt a 4-minute video report on the political and social status of women in Iraq before and after the fall of Saddam.
Azar then interviews live via satellite Muhammad al-Darraji, member of the Committee for Supporting Elections Abroad, in London. Al-Darraji expresses some reservations on the electoral process and criticizes the conduct of the IOM.
Jamil Azar reminds viewers of the "ban" placed on Al-Jazeera by the Iraqi government and at 1439 gmt interviews via telephone journalist Mustafa Ibrahim in Mosul to shed light on the polling process, voter turnout and security developments in the city.
At 1446 gmt, presenter Azar shifts to his guests in the studio: Iraqi political analyst Zafir al-Ani and expert on Shi'i authorities Ali al-Dabbagh. The two men are asked for their opinions on the future constitution and the withdrawal of US forces.
At 1448 gmt, Azar interrupts his guests to announce the "breaking news" of "fierce gunfire exchange in Basra." He immediately interviews via satellite Salah al-Battat, representative of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, in Basra, to comment on the security situation in the city, as well as voter turnout and polling in general.
Azar returns to his guests and asks them their views about post-election Iraqi foreign relations.
Following the 1500 gmt news summary, Al-Jazeera resumes its special coverage of the Iraqi elections, now being moderated by presenter Layla al-Shayib. She first interviews via telephone Abd-al-Sattar al-Jumayli, secretary-general of the Vanguard Socialist Nasirite Party, in Mosul. Al-Jumayli reports poor voter turnout, deteriorated security conditions and continued armed operations in the city. He also accuses the Independent Electoral Commission in Iraqi (IECI) of falsification for its announcement of a 72 per cent voter turnout.
At 1515 gmt, Al-Shayib interviews via telephone Iraqi journalists Husayn al-Majma'i in Ba'qubah, who describes polling in the city as a failure and says that the security precautions taken by the Iraqi government did not stop attacks on polling centres and that residents were troubled by the US military presence.
At 1516 gmt, presenter Al-Shayib interviews Iraqi journalist Rafi al-Bayyati in Baghdad, who reports on earlier clashes in the Al-Ghazaliyah area and rocket attacks against the Green Zone
At 1519 gmt, Al-Jazeera begins a live relay of an news conference being held by Independent Electoral Commission officials Farid Ayyar and Adil al-Lami in Baghdad. Al-Jazeera ends its live relay of the news conference at 1531 gmt.
Presenter Al-Shayib then interviews via satellite Bakhtiyar Talabani, media officer in the Kurdistan Democratic Party, in Kirkuk. Asked to comment on the polling process in Kirkuk, Talabani says "polling in the Kurdistan region in general and in Kirkuk in particular, proceeded smoothly and voter turnout exceeded our expectations."
Asked to comment on the remarks made by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, in which he expressed fears regarding the status of Kirkuk, saying that the elections would create a situation which is unacceptable to Turkey, Talabani says: "The people in Kirkuk today proved that they are brothers and deserve to serve as role models for all Iraqis. The city of Kirkuk, regardless of the different sects and ethnic groups present there, proved to the world and the Kurdistan region in particular, that all the ethnic groups; namely, Arabs, Turkomen and Kurds, honourably competed at the ballot boxes."
At 1536 gmt, Al-Jazeera interviews via satellite Richard Murphy, former US assistant secretary of state, in its New York studios. Murphy is asked to comment on the Iraqi elections and a possible timeline for the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country.
At 1539 gmt, Al-Shayib interviews via satellite Al-Jazeera correspondent Yusuf al-Sharif in Ankara, who reports mainly smooth polling. Al-Sharif briefly interviews Dr Amal Abdallah, member of the IECI, who describes voter turnout as very good and positive. Al-Sharif shifts to an Iraqi family living in Turkey, who express their joy and pride over the elections. Al-Sharif finally adds that votes will be counted in Ankara and that the results will be transferred to Amman.
Al-Jazeera then airs a 4-minute video report on Jewish Iraqis holding Israeli citizenship wishing to vote, especially since no polling centres were set up in Israel, forcing them to travel to Amman in order to cast their votes.
At 1547 gmt, presenter Al-Shayib interviews live via satellite Al-Jazeera correspondent Mustafa Sawaq in London, who says that voting hours may be extended due to high voter. Sawaq interviews an IECI official who says that they had not received any orders to extend voting hours. Sawaq then briefly interviews Ziya Ziya from the Democratic Assyrian Party and Muhammad Salah, only identified as a Kurd, who say that Assyrians and Kurds living in England cast their votes.
Following the above interview, Al-Shayib returns to her guests in the studio; Iraqi political analyst Zafir al-Ani and expert on Shi'i authorities Ali al-Dabbagh and starts by asking them on the validity of the participation of Israelis born in Iraq in the elections.
At 1617 gmt, a new episode of the "Iraqi Scene" show moderated by Abd-al-Azim Muhammad begins. Present in the studio are Muhammad al-Duri, former Iraqi representative to the United Nations and Muhammad Abd-al-Jabbar, chief editor the Baghdad-based Al-Sabah newspaper and candidate representing the Democratic Islamic Trend. The men are asked for their opinions on the elections, the boycott by some of the elections,
At 1626 gmt, Muhammad interviews via satellite Najib al-Salihi, secretary-general of the Free Officers and Civilian Movement, in Baghdad. Al-Salhi is asked to comment on the elections as a whole and voter turnout, in addition to the role of Iraqi forces in "ensuring the success of this process." Al-Salihi lavishes praise on the Iraqi people and the Iraqi forces and commends their courage. He also asks that the issue of Sunnis and Shi'is not be overemphasized, describing such a distinction as a crime.
At 1636 gmt, Muhammad interviews via satellite Iraqi politician Layth Kubbah in Florida and PUK official Adnan al-Mufti in Arbil, on the significance of the elections, the impact they had on the Iraqi people and the fears related to partitioning of Iraq.
Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1400 gmt 30 Jan 05
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