Sunday, January 09, 2005

Iraqi officials are adopting measures for upcoming elections in an attempt to thwart terrorist attacks on voters, including instant voter registrations on election day. (Washington Times)

President Hosni Mubarak expressed hope Saturday that Iraq's elections will be held on schedule but said all Iraqis need to participate to avoid further violence in the war-ravaged state. (AP via Washington Post)

U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, after a brief visit to Iraq during a trip to regions in Asia, said Saturday he was confident the scheduled Jan. 30 elections would go off as planned. "It will happen," the Minnesota Republican said. "The Iraqis are excited." (AP via San Jose Mercury News)

Iraq must push ahead with Jan. 30 elections despite relentless bloodshed, voter intimidation and attacks on electoral staff, the chief U.N. election official in the country said Sunday. Carlos Valenzuela, who has helped organize elections in some of the world's most hostile places, said Iraq's Independent Electoral Commission, organizing the poll, would only recommend a delay if political consensus was reached on a postponement or violence made it impossible to prepare nationwide. (Reuters)

Leaders of Iraq's Sunni Arab minority and other skeptics say it is so dangerous in large parts of the country that it will be all but impossible to hold nationwide elections Jan. 30. Even President Bush recently conceded 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces are ready for elections. But on the busy second and third floors of a building inside this city's heavily fortified Green Zone, dozens of United Nations officials, Iraqi poll workers and monitoring groups -- some strolling in and out wearing flak jackets and blue helmets -- are hard at work to ensure the elections go forth as scheduled. (The Star Ledger [NJ])

American military commanders in restive Al Anbar Province are warning local leaders that elections will be held on schedule at the end of January, regardless of the security situation or some politicians’ opposition to the process. On Wednesday, senior Marine Corps officials brought their message directly to the mayors of Hit and Baghdadi, cities northwest of Fallujah that could be a flash point of violence in coming weeks. (Stars & Stripes)

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