Monday, January 10, 2005

Summary of recent election-related news and violence [...] Officials of 14 Iraqi political parties from Kurdish to Islamic began arriving in Paris today for a visit to gather information on the workings of the French political system. Iraq’s interim president, Ghazi al-Yawar, was scheduled to arrive on Wednesday on a three-day official visit that would include a meeting on Thursday with French President Jacques Chirac and other dignitaries. Among those attending were representatives of two Kurdish parties, several parties from the Dawa movement, the Islamic Iraqi Party and the Movement of Independent Democrats. [...] (

[...] In another significant blow to Iraq's upcoming elections, the entire 13-member electoral commission in the volatile province of Anbar, west of the capital, resigned after being threatened by insurgents, a regional newspaper reported Sunday. Saad Abdul-Aziz Rawi, the head of the electoral commission, told the newspaper that it was "impossible to hold elections" in the Sunni-dominated province, where insurgent attacks have prevented voter registration. The restive cities of Fallujah and Ramadi are located in the province. (Houston Chronicle)

Opinion: There is a real possibility of the Jan 30 elections in Iraq creating a political, ideological and religious twin of neighbouring Iran out of the embattled country. The elections, recrimination over whose timing has grown more shrill and violent in recent days, are being watched by the Arab world which wants Iraq's "Arab character" to be preserved by the minority Sunnis, and Iran's theocrats, who are keen to throw a Shia swathe over the region. (new kerala [India])

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