RealNews

Aide: Ayatollah May Drop Election Demand

The country’s top Shiite Muslim cleric would be willing to drop his demand for early legislative elections if Iraqi and U.N. experts agree such a ballot would not be feasible, one of his aides said Thursday. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani would also want to hear “alternatives” for choosing a new assembly, said spokesman Mohammed al-Yehia al-Mawsawi. He made the comments during a lecture to about 200 Iraqi women, all dressed in black veils, in a Shiite mosque in this holy city where al-Sistani lives. A blueprint announced Nov. 15 calls for a series of regional caucuses to select a new provisional legislature, which in turn would choose the new government that would take power by July 1, formally ending the occupation. Full Story

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