The Shotgun Blog
Friday, October 22, 2004
Iraq: Elections On Track
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Preparations for the crucial January election are "on track" and the absence of international observers due to the country's tenuous security should not detract from the vote's credibility, the top U.N. electoral expert here said.
The January election is seen as a major step in Iraq's path to democratic rule. The United States, which formally ended its occupation of Iraq in June but still wields vast influence, sees the vote as a key step toward establishing a stable government.
"International observation is important only in that it's symbolic," Carlos Valenzuela told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday. "I don't think that the process will be less credible without observers, absolutely not. They are not the essence. They are not essential. They are not important. If they can come, fine, of course."
To enable the vote to take place throughout Iraq, joint U.S.-Iraqi military operations are underway to break the hold of Sunni insurgents in areas south, north and west of the capital Baghdad.
Iraqis will select a 275-seat assembly whose main task will be to draft a constitution. If adopted, the document will be the foundation for a second vote to be held by Dec. 15.
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Imagine UN official talking common sense? That Venezuela guy merits a promotion, si? How about Sec-Gen? Get him in there before Willy C. sinks his teeth into the job.
Posted by: gg | 2004-10-22 2:20:58 PM
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