Iraq poll group evicted from US office

Staff members of a group helping Iraqis register to vote in their homeland's upcoming elections have been forced out of their suburban Chicago offices by officials concerned about a possible attack on the building.

    Iraqi voters will elect members for their homeland's assembly

    The International Organisation for Migration plans to move its 15 paid workers to the northwest side of Chicago from Niles, a village north of the city, Oliver Vick, who heads the organisation's local office, said on Thursday.

    "We are having to move our offices, and we are moving to continue serving the Iraqi community in the best possible way," Vick said. 

    Village manager Mary Kay Morrissey said officials were worried they could not adequately protect the organisation's offices.

    She added that the organisation did not have all of the necessary zoning permits to operate out of the building. 

    Global polling stations

    A seven-day voter registration period for US Iraqi nationals began on Monday in the Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington and Nashville metropolitan areas. 

    Eligible Iraqis abroad - estimated to number 1.2 million - can vote at one of 74 polling stations set up in Britain, Australia, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Jordan, the Netherlands, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. 

    Those who register this week can vote between 28-30 January for members for their homeland's 275-member National Assembly, which will elect a president and two deputy presidents as well as draft the country's constitution.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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