Iraqi Sunnis Call For Vote Postponement
2 December 2004 -- Sunni Muslim tribal chiefs from Iraq say they are seeking to postpone Iraq's planned elections in order to ensure the participation of Sunnis.
Sheikh Majid Abdelrazzak al-Ali al-Suliman, chief of the Dulaimi tribe in Iraq's Al-Anbar province, said today that Sunni tribal chiefs have asked interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi to postpone the vote.
But in Washington, U.S. President George W. Bush said he opposed any delay.
"The elections should not be postponed. It is time for the Iraqi citizens to go to the polls, and that is why we are very firm on the 30 January date," Bush said.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Islamic Party said it will hold a conference on 5 December to try and gather support for a postponement.
Last week, several Iraqi Sunni Muslim politician urged the interim government to postpone the vote for six months, saying security in the country still isn't good enough to hold a fair election.
Iraq's interim government has said it will push ahead with the vote.
Yesterday, Iraqi interim Defense Minister Hazim Shalan al-Khuza'i said security conditions in Iraq still fall short of what is necessary for the country's planned elections at the end of January.
Copyright (c) 2004. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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