Thursday, January 27, 2005

Russia will not send observers to the Iraqi elections on Jan. 30, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on its web-site. (Moscow News)

U.N. officials have had to discourage an “overenthusiastic” US military from helping to get out the vote in Iraq before Sunday’s election, the top U.N. electoral adviser said on Wednesday. (Khaleej Times)

Iraqis may have to wait weeks to learn the winners of this weekend's election, with guerrilla attacks and other factors expected to slow the vote tally, a foreign election adviser in Baghdad said on Thursday. (AP)

More pre-election violence. (AP)

AP has a list of key political dates for Iraq.

And The Guardian [UK] has a list (and accompanying description) of Iraqi elections: the key parties.

Opinion round-up:

Jefferson Morley: Four ways of looking at Iraq's elections. You can find a lot of information on the Internet about Iraq's elections on Sunday. You can chat with a candidate who was part of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr's armed militia. You can watch the television advertisements of interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, or visit the Arabic Web site of Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali Sistani. You can check out al-Jazeera's guide to Iraqi political parties. or read the translated summaries of Iraqi political coverage in the Iraqi Press Monitor. What you will not find is a lot of optimism. (Washington Post)

Salim Lone: This election is a sham. Very early in the occupation of Iraq, the Bush administration recognized that a democratic Iraq, even a stridently anti-Saddam one, would not countenance the strategic U.S. goals the war was fought for: controlling the second-largest oil reserves in an energy-thirsty world, and establishing military bases required for undertaking the political transformation of the Middle East to serve American interests. A long-term occupation to secure these ambitious goals was no less tenable. [...] (International Herald Tribune)

The New Stateman cover story: An election riven with contradictions.

Chicago Sun-Times: Chaos or stability: Elections set stage for Iraq's future.

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