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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq: UN electoral assistance for constitutional referendum moves into higher gear

6 October 2005 With only 10 days to go before Iraqis go to the polls in a constitutional referendum, the United Nations is revving up its efforts to distribute copies of the document throughout the violence-wracked country.

Food distribution centres in some parts of southern Iraq have already started to deliver copies, spokesman Stephane Dujarric told a news briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. One of the tasks of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) involves printing and delivering the constitution.

On Monday, the Director of the UN Electoral Assistance Division (EAD), Carina Perelli, said preparations for the 15 October referendum were largely complete and early indications on how the vote would proceed from a technical point of view were positive.

In some major southern cities, including Basrah, Najaf and Karbala, the centres were set to receive their copies today and will send them out to residents on Saturday.

In Baghdad, 395,000 copies have gone to the food centres, and the agents there started distribution three days ago. In Kurdistan, 400,000 copies were sent to Erbil today, to be distributed on Saturday. Another 600,000 copies will go to Sulaymania between now and Tuesday.

In western Iraq, the Council of Ministers received 305,000 copies on Monday and has begun to transport them. Yesterday, 200,000 copies went to Mosul and another 175,000 to Kirkuk, with distribution in those cities to begin on Saturday. Local Sunni leaders are also helping to deliver copies in Western Iraq.

With UN technical and planning support, Iraq's Independent Electoral Commission has delivered almost 2 million kilos of materials such as ballots, polling boxes and voter screens to governorate electoral hubs across the country for more than 15 million eligible Iraqi voters.



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