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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN officials continue talks on Iraq's transition, elections

14 May 2004 ? United Nations officials are in Iraq continuing their discussions on the country's political transition at the end of June and the organization of elections slated for early next year.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Adviser, Lakhdar Brahimi, was in the northern city of Erbil today for talks with Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, according to a UN spokesman.

Meanwhile, with tomorrow the deadline to accept candidates for the independent electoral commission for Iraq, the head of the UN electoral mission warned that time was running short for finalizing the rules to govern the balloting set for January 2005.

Carina Perelli told a press conference yesterday in Baghdad that her team will soon be holding public meetings so Iraqis can have a say in the rules that are to guide the process. The team also has been dealing with the Iraqi Governing Council and its legislative committee dealing with elections to obtain agreement for an electoral law, she added.

"If you want an election to happen in January that means by the end of May you need to have those agreements in place," she said. "Otherwise the electoral authority cannot start working."

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