Friday, January 28, 2005

Bush attaches importance to Iraqi elections. (XINHUA online)

Vignettes of Iraqis casting votes abroad from AP

In terms familiar to U.S. voters, it's all about turnout in the Iraqi elections. Fourteen million Iraqis are eligible to vote, and their presence at the polls Sunday in a nation ridden by violence would be a welcome sight for a Bush administration determined to spread democracy in the Middle East and allay American fears about the war's rising toll. (AP)

Death and elections in Iraq. On the same day that Condoleezza Rice was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as Secretary of State, 37 U.S. soldiers lost their lives in the deadliest day of the war in Iraq. (El Diario)

Mixed feelings in Northern Iraq over poll. (Financial Times)

Iraq considers Shiite rule. Elections on Sunday are almost certain to bring Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority to power after decades of brutal repression. That prospect has fueled fear and uncertainty inside the country; unsettled Iraq's Sunni Muslim neighbors; and created new uncertainties about what kind of Iraq will replace Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, and even about whether Iraq will remain one country or dissolve into civil war. (San Jose Mercury News)

Editorial: Freedom's Gauntlet: Iraq Elections A Challenge. The United States and its coalition partners are working with the government of Iraq to ensure that this process is a success. We also share India's conviction that democracy and democratic elections are the best avenues to ensuring peace and stability. Indians know very well that terrorists are the enemy of elections and the democratic process. [...] From start to finish, these elections are being run by Iraqis, for Iraqis, and represent a key milestone for that country. While many people are focused on the election turnout and how the voting might be impacted by insurgents, it is important that the event be judged as well in terms of what it represents to the political life of Iraq. [...] (The Times of India)

The Economist: A turning-point for Iraq, for better or worse. The ballots cast by Iraqis on Sunday may mark the start of a long and arduous journey towards stability and freedom for Iraqis. Or the beginning of a descent into anarchy, civil war and the break-up of the country. [...] IRAQIS danced in the streets outside the polling station, proudly displaying the indelible blue ink on their fingers that showed they had cast their votes—one gleefully called it the “mark of freedom”. However, this scene, on Friday January 28th, took place among the relatively small community of Iraqi exiles in Sydney, Australia. Voting in Iraq itself, to be held on Sunday, seems unlikely to produce such joyful scenes. If they turn out at all, voters are likely to be terrified of being attacked, [...]

Andrew Flood: Anarchism and the Iraq elections (Infoshop News)

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