Thursday, January 13, 2005

Iraq's electoral commission on Thursday detailed what would be considered crimes during this month's election process, ranging from carrying weapons in or around polling stations to forgeries and bribes. (AP)

With elections less than three weeks away, interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi is spending much of his tenure's final days wooing Iraqis and reassuring them of his ability to lead this nation fatigued by war and terror. It could be a tough sell. (AP)

U.S. Sees No Advantage in Delaying Iraqi Elections. Delaying Iraq's elections beyond Jan. 30 would give insurgents a tactical victory and provide no guarantee that security there would improve, Bush administration officials said on Wednesday. "We want to make sure that there is as broad participation as possible in those elections. I think we all recognize that the election is not going to be perfect," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. (Reuters via Washington Post)

French President Jacques Chirac lent his support to the electoral process in Iraq, wishing his Iraqi counterpart Ghazi al-Yawar success for the January 30 polls and urging huge voter turnout. After talks with Chirac aimed at repairing ties that have been strained for months, Yawar in turn said Baghdad would do everything possible to locate a French journalist who went missing in Iraq more than a week ago. (AFP via

The price of voting in Iraq's Mosul. Every possible contingency, including suicide bombers blowing themselves up inside polling booths, is being examined by the US military in this restive city as the election countdown begins. Short of escorting people from their homes to the ballot boxes, US soldiers are doing everything they can to make sure the situation is sufficiently under control for residents of this city of some 1.5 million to vote in the landmark Iraqi elections on January 30. (AFP via

Iraqis living in Britain will be able to vote in their country's elections at polling stations in Glasgow, Manchester, London and Cardiff, Jack Straw has said. The Foreign Secretary told the Cabinet this morning that ballot boxes would be made available for the Jan 30 poll. (

Roland Flamini: International observers are likely to be conspicuously absent at Iraq elections on Jan. 30 because of the security situation, and the task of monitoring the voting will be left to some 5,000 specially trained Iraqi electoral officials. The U.N.-sponsored International Mission for the Iraq Elections says it will follow developments from a safe distance in Amman, Jordan and Canada. (UPI via Washington Times)

Thomas Friedman: Follow Friedman's rules: Hold Iraqi elections now. In trying to think through whether we should press ahead with elections in Iraq or not, I have found it useful to go back and dig out my basic rules for Middle East reporting, which I have developed and adapted over 25 years of writing from that region. (Houston Chronicle)

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