Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A surprisingly low number of Iraqis turned out on Monday in the Detroit area -- home to one of the largest concentrations of Arabs outside the Middle East -- to register to vote in the upcoming election in their homeland. (Reuters)

Two-thirds of registered voters in the Iraqi capital say they will cast their ballots in the Jan. 30 election despite the threat of violence, an independent Iraqi newspaper survey found Monday. (ABC News)

Once exiled and stripped of his Iraqi citizenship, Talib Murad now sees hope in his country's new democracy. He is so eager to take part in the Jan. 30 election for an Iraqi national assembly that he has set up his own polling station after learning that Egypt, where he lives, is not one of the 14 countries designated for voting by expatriate Iraqis. (AP)

Germany won't budge from its refusal to send troops to Iraq, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Monday when asked if successful elections and a new government would alter his country's stance. (Jerusalem Post)

Kamran Karadaghi: Despite a likely Sunni boycott, Iraq's divisions are overstated Recent declarations by representatives of mainstream Sunni Arab groups in Iraq clearly reflect the dilemma they are facing: Should they participate in the Jan. 30 elections or not? The latest statement reflecting this dilemma came from the largest Sunni group, the moderate Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), which represents the Iraqi branch of the wider Muslim Brotherhood movement in the Arab world. Ammar Wajeeh, a member of the IIP political bureau, was quoted on Jan. 14 in the London-based Al-Hayat daily as saying that his party would not bar its members and supporters from voting, and would be free to vote for any list of candidates they chose - despite the fact that IIP had decided to "withdraw" from the elections. (The Daily Star [Lebanon])

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