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By Sama Hadad
November 29, 2004

Timing of Elections

Pachachi, who returned from a five-month stay at his Emirates residence, convened a meeting with Sunni and Kurdish politicians in Baghdad, culminating with a joint statement calling for a six-month delay of the January elections, citing security concerns. However, these concerns are either disingenuous or flawed:

  • Just two days prior, the core Sunni parties had demanded that either elections be delayed due to security concerns, or the electoral system is changed from a single-constituency proportional representation system to that of a first-past-the-post multi-constituency system. What if any links an electoral system has to the security concerns is bewildering, but what it reveals is the true motives behind the call for an elections delay. In a single-constituency proportional representation system there are virtually no wasted votes and each list receives the same percentage of seats as votes, while a multi-constituency first-past-the-post system invariably produces wasted votes and unfairly skews results - which they hope to benefit from.
  • If elections are delayed, it is only logical that terrorists will be emboldened and will drive even harder to ensure they succeed once again in stalling the democratic process and thus the security situation will only get worse and not better.
  • A delay in elections will not bring in those boycotting the democratic process. Such groups have clearly stated they will not take part in any elections whilst foreign troops are in Iraq and troop presence will not change in six months.

Such a move, most likely stirred up by neighboring Arab nations fearful of a budding democracy in their midst, is not gaining any ground as 42 Shia parties, Sistani, the electoral commission, President Bush, Negroponte and Senator Lugar have all dismissed any delay.

 

© 2007 Iraqi Prospect Organisation
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