Saturday, January 22, 2005

The deadline for expatriate Iraqis to register for voting in the upcoming 30 January elections has been extended by two days due to low registration figures. The extensions was made on Saturday after only about one in eight of those eligible to vote signed up during the initial phase. (Al Jazeera)

A similar story from AP.

Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iraq Iyad Allawi has said it will be impossible to provide full security for this month's parliamentary elections. Mr Allawi said the measures being put in place were not enough to prevent all attacks by insurgents. He was speaking after two more suicide bombings apparently targeting Shias killed at least 25 people on Friday. (BBC News)

A list of the main players in Iraq's elections. (AP via Boston Globe)

And from the Al-Ahram Weekly (Egypt), examines some of the more prominent of the 285 electoral lists: The National Accord List (include Allawi), Unified Iraqi Alliance (Abdul-Aziz Al-Hakim), The Independent Democrats Coalition (Adnan Pachachi).

Millions of ballots have been printed, thousands of voting booths assembled and 300,000 Iraqi and American troops put at the ready. Everything is in place for Iraq's national elections. All that's needed now are voters. Participation is the crucial question in next Sunday's parliamentary election, which the insurgents, mostly Sunni Arabs, have vowed to disrupt. Substantial Sunni turnout in the face of intimidation and murder could spell the beginning of the end of the rebellion and hasten the day when America can bring home its 150,000 troops. (AP via Boston Globe)

Violence alone would not discredit the results of Iraq's January 30 election despite the fact that conditions for the vote were far from ideal, the United Nations' electoral adviser in Iraq said overnight. "I know that there will be violence leading up to the elections and there's likely to be violence during the elections. I still do not believe that this will disqualify the elections," said UN electoral adviser Carlos Valenzuela a day after two car bombs killed 27 people. (The Herald Sun [Australia])

Jim Miur, BBC News: Danger haunts Iraq's campaign trail. With just a week to go before elections, Iraq has seen an upsurge of violence by insurgents determined to drive out the Americans and their allies. How long can the region sustain the fight for what President George W Bush has called the worthy prize of Iraq's liberation?

Iraq gas shortages overshadow election. Taxi driver Raed Ali sleeps in his cab in streets that crackle with gunfire after dark, risking robbery or death to get a good spot at daybreak in one of the gasoline lines that wind through Baghdad's muddy alleys and gridlocked thoroughfares. The irony of fuel shortages in one of the world's leading sources of petroleum is high on the list of hassles facing Iraqis, siphoning off much of the excitement over next week's national elections. [...] (AP)

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