"Limited" number of voting centers in Iraq's Sunni-dominated Anbar province for election, says official
Iraqi electoral officials told the Associated Press Tuesday that some areas of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province will not have ballot stations for the upcoming parliamentary elections due to "security concerns."
Independent Higher Electoral Commission member Muqdad Al Shuraifi told AP that individuals will only be able to vote in areas deemed "safe" as a result of government-militant clashes that have been ongoing in the province since late December last year.
Anbar's two major cities, Ramadi and Fallujah, will not have ballot centers, according to Al Shuraifi due to such fighting.
However, the exclusion of such major Sunni city centers is likely to spark sectarian tensions to another extent, particularly with Shiite leadership, including Prime Minister Nour Al Maliki up for re-election during the April 30 polls.
The upcoming election represents the first balloting in Iraq since the U.S. troop withdrawal in 2011.
Over 3,000 people have been killed in Iraq in 2014 alone due to growing sectarian violence enveloping the country.
- 10 Iraqi guards killed in northern ballot center by gunmen
- Maliki list says 750,000 votes in question
- Iraq: Mass grave found, four US troops die as Sunnis hold election demonstration
- Polls open in Iraq for first parliamentary vote since U.S. troop withdrawal
- Over 1,000 Iraqis killed in attacks last month