RealNews

U.S. Firm on Iraq Election Date in Face of Rising Concerns

In the calculation of the Bush administration, Iraq faces a turning point on Jan. 30, when the first authentic elections in modern history are to take place. But a fresh wave of doubts about whether the violent Iraqi insurgency will undermine the elections’ legitimacy or force their delay have posed a major challenge to the administration as it guides Iraq on a bumpy road to democratization. For now, administration officials are standing firm in the face of a fresh round of demands from some respected Sunni leaders in Iraq that the elections be postponed. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell heard similar concerns last week from Arab envoys at a meeting on Iraq’s future in Sharm el Sheik, Egypt, and he summarily rejected them. Administration officials say they cannot rule out that elections might not occur on time but that a decision on whether to delay them is unjustified at present. Full Story

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