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Iraqi Experts Wanted for Election Probe (Sistani turns the screws)

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Barrett808 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:10 PM
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Iraqi Experts Wanted for Election Probe (Sistani turns the screws)
Iraqi Experts Wanted for Election Probe
By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press Writer

NAJAF, Iraq - Iraq's leading Shiite Muslim cleric wants Iraqi experts and not just those from the United Nations to conclude that early elections are not feasible before he will drop his opposition to the U.S. political blueprint for Iraq, an aide said Thursday.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani also is adamant that the U.S.-led occupation must meet a July 1 deadline to hand over sovereignty to an Iraqi government, according to the aide, Mohammed al-Yehia al-Mawsawi.

If U.N. and Iraqi experts conclude elections could not be held before July 1, al-Sistani wants them to come up with other ways to make the transitional legislature as representative of the Iraqi people as possible, al-Mawsawi said.


Al-Mawsawi launched a scathing attack on the U.S.-sponsored blueprint, which the Iraqi Governing Council accepted Nov. 15. He said the formula for choosing legislators by caucus would perpetuate "the illegitimacy" of Iraqi institutions.

"His eminence al-Sistani viewed the agreement as extremely dangerous," al-Mawsawi said. "The agreement's main danger is in that it does not confer legitimacy on the transitional period. It takes us from one quagmire of illegitimacy to another."

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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:14 PM
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1. Let's please keep editorial comments out of the headline.
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