Friday, January 14, 2005

Farid Ayar, HIEC vice-president, is responsbile for public relations for the forthcoming Iraqi elections on 30 January. Surrounded by election brochures in an office in Baghdad, he spoke to IRIN in the Iraqi capital about preparations for the historic poll, addressing security issues and voting plans. (IRIN via

An Iraqi Turkmen party Thursday threatened to boycott the January 30 elections in the conflict-torn country unless Kurds in northern Iraq put an end to "games" to influence the outcome of the vote in Kirkuk, the oil-rich city which both communities claim. "We will be forced to reconsider our decision to participate in the elections... if the election structure and arrangements are continously tinkered with," a statement issued by the Ankara office of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC) said. (AFP via Kurditan Observer)

About half of Iraq’s 15 million voters are likely to participate in this month’s election, a senior election official said in one of the first such estimates of possible turnout. To encourage as much participation as possible, Iraqis living in dangerous areas will be allowed to vote in safer areas, the official said. Farid Ayar of Iraq’s Independent Electoral Commission said he expected seven to eight million Iraqis to vote on Jan. 30. (Khaleej Times)

Opinion: The second Palestinian presidential election in history ended on Sunday and pragmatic and moderate Mahmoud Abbas was elected the new chairman of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Now another election is due to take place, in Iraq. People in the world can not help but ask whether or not the forthcoming election, which has similarly drawn worldwide attention, will also bring a light of hope for peace to the violence-torn Arab country. (CHINA Daily via XINHUA online)

Robin Cook: Hold the elections, then get out. Most of our partners in Iraq are preparing to leave. We should too. (The Guardian [UK])

David Roach: Despite challenges, Iraq elections seen as step to democracy. While Iraq’s first multi-party parliamentary election in 50 years is scheduled to take place Jan. 30, a host of logistical, political, military and religious issues complicate the election process and raise questions as to whether Iraq will be able to sustain a democratically elected government, according to various news sources. (BP News)

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