Sunni Iraqis: Shiites Barred Us From Voting

Thousands turned away in former insurgent enclave
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2009 4:21 PM CST

(Newser) – At least 1,000 Sunni Iraqis were turned away from the polls in Baghdad today for being unregistered to vote, and many accused the Shiite government of deleting their names from the polls, the Los Angeles Times reports. “This is a disappointment,” complained one man. Agitation was high in one Sunni enclave that was once an insurgent stronghold.

“We’ve had some problems,” acknowledged a polling official. Some said people with traditionally Sunni names such as Omar, Othman, and Abu Bakr were deliberately disenfranchised. “That looks bad to us,” said one observer. “We’re sure it’s the Iraqi government that did this.” Meanwhile, Iraq’s prime minister called the expected “large participation” at the polls “a victory for all the Iraqis.”