Basra, Asharq Al-Awsat – Members of the security apparatus in Basra, Iraq emphasized that precautionary measures are being taken to maintain security and order after members of the security apparatus cast their votes on Thursday.
A security source who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity said that “security preparations are focusing on two points: keeping one eye on the inside and the other on the eastern borders with Iran after many electoral blocs competing [in the elections] expressed their fears of methods entering [Iraq] that may abuse the electoral process. Everyone is striving for it to be a fair and transparent process.”
The source added, “The leadership of the security apparatus strengthened its presence along the borders and aided its patrols with technical equipment and sophisticated arms to detect any infiltration operations along the border that will be closed tightly.”
Brigadier Adel Daham, chief of the Basra provincial police, told journalists on Thursday that “orders were given at all checkpoints leading to the border regions to tighten up security measures to the maximum degree and to subject all vehicles, especially lorries exporting goods, to thorough inspections.” He indicated that “these measures aim to foil any attempts to smuggle counterfeit electoral material or fake electoral documents.”
Daham further clarified that “the inspections will be carried out by hand without using bomb-detection devices.” He further stressed that “any vehicle carrying printed documents or stationery will not be allowed to pass until after the material has been verified as having nothing to do with the electoral process.” He added that “the security process also targets [private] printing houses inside [Iraq] as a precaution out of fear that they may print material that aims to harm the democratic process.” He confirmed that “the police will work professionally and impartially and will not be bias towards any party.”