Washington DC/The Hague
the past months as the Baghdad Airport has been closed
and I have been unable to return to Iraq I have been
engaged in what could best be termed `Shuttle Diplomacy`
working with our partners throughout the world.
Hague/London/New York/Washington/Tokyo the schedule has
been crazy but we are making progress.
have been held and our strong demands conveyed to the
United Nations, the Iraqi Government including the major
ministers, Prime Minister, President, the European
Union, Chairs of the International Relations Committee,
The Foreign Relations Committee, the Armed Services
Committees of each side of Congress, The Iraqi Donors
Fund, The Japanese Government, The National Republican
Institute, the National Endowment for Democracy, IRIF,
CNN, BBC, FoxTV, ITN, The Christian Broadcasting Network
and dozens of talk shows, every major Assyrian Christian
organization and many, many others.
meeting is simply a demand - not a request or asking a
favor, but a demand that the `Five R`s` be implemented
and implemented immediately.
Reconstruction, Resettlement, Regional
Administration, Regional Security and Registration for
The first priority now
is to build coalitions with those who support us. This
we can see in three main areas.
First, a joint
declaration from the US and EU regarding the `Five R`s`
and in particular aimed at the election.
Second, a joint
declaration from the various Christian Organizations
worldwide regarding the `Five R`s` and the election.
Third, a joint
declaration from the various Assyrian Christian
organizations regarding the `Five R`s` and in particular
The groundwork has been
done, the parties are in agreement - the next step is to
implement and get the signatures of the parties and
announce the results so that the international
community, the Iraqi Government and all parties involved
are served notice that if the Assyrian Christians are
not treated properly and the `Five R`s` implemented the
funding for Iraqi development will be stopped.
In careful consultation
with all the involved parties - the Iraqi Government,
the United Nations, The European Union, Japan, the State
Department, The National Endowment for Democracy, the
National Republican Institute, IRIF we have come up with
a comprehensive outline of the election and a strategy
to implement our goals within the framework of the
It is absolutely
essential to work on two fronts concerning the election.
First, to oppose and do all we can to change not the
date of the election but the system.
Representation System` of election must be changed to a
`Constituent Based System`. Simply put the system
currently in place by the UN is designed for an
`electoral coup de etat` - to by a fraudulent electoral
system turn Iraq into a moslem state.
We must oppose this on
every front and with a weakened UN it is still possible
to accomplish this. While the debate is on the date of
the election, while our main concern must be on the
process and fight strongly to see it changed. All
experts agree that is is a fundamentally flawed system
and not suited to bringing democratic change to Iraq.
In close consulate with
all the relevant organizations involved a website,
www.assyrianvote.com has been set up to provide all
the information for registration and voting and to
assist all those who need help in doing so.
Each agency involved
with the election will be sending updated information
www.assyrianvote.com so that all the most important
information information concerning the election will be
in one place.
discussions with all the parties involved in the
electoral process we have come up with the basics of the
election as best as can be ascertained from the parties
involved keeping in mind that there has not been a final
decision by the Iraqi Electoral Commission yet.
There are three main
groups which to varying degrees should be allowed to
First, those with any
form of Iraqi Documentation. This can be an old Iraqi
Passport, ID Card, ration card, local village paper or
any form of documentation issued by any Iraqi government
for any purpose.
Second, are those
without any Iraqi Documents, but with official documents
from any country that show that they were born in Iraq.
This can be a Passport, immigration papers, UN
Documents, birth certificate - any official document
that says `born in Iraq`.
Third, are those
without any documentation of their connections to Iraq.
For these it is necessary to have a relative as soon as
possible go to the local village, city office and
request paperwork certifying that the individual is from
Iraq either by birth or by parentage. While this cannot
yet be confirmed official there is reason to believe
this can be donít to the third generation if family
members can obtain certification from the local
government that the individual has ties to Iraq.
The election will take
place tentatively on June 30, but there are strong
indications that it will be delayed in some form.
Those overseas will be
able to vote in the capitol cities of 14 countries -
essentially the European Union, Australia, The United
States and Canada.
Those living overseas
will be able .to vote for the national slate but not for
the local slate from overseas. The voting will take
place at the local office of The International
Organization For Migration which has been retained by
the Iraqi Election Commission to operate the election
for those living overseas.
While the above
information is still tentative, all Assyrian Christians
worldwide and in Iraq are urgently requested to
immediately begin to prepare documents to be able to
qualify for the election and for those without
documentation immediately contact family members to
apply for local government documentation and either by
mail, fax or email send the document so it can be taken
to the polling place for registration.
As with all elections
every vote counts. Those with questions about their
documentation, about where to vote and any other
question relating to the election are asked to contact
www.assyrianvote.com and fill out the question
application so that their individual problem can be
researched and an answer given as soon as possible.
Questions will be
passed on to the organization concerned for a direct
answer from them.
worldwide are urgently asked to pass the site
www.assyrianvote.com to as many as possible so that
the maximum number of Assyrian Christians can prepare
their documents, successfully register and vote.
Government Agencies and the media is all on standby to
assist in any case of discrimination or perceived
discrimination, refusal to accept documents or any
Ken Joseph Jr.
is writing a book about his
experiences in Iraq entitled "I Was Wrong"