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[casi-analysis] IPO's Iraq News Analysis: Nov 29, 2004

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IPO's Iraq News Analysis

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.

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News Analysis brought to you by the Iraqi Prospect Organisation -
The Iraqi Prospect Organisation is a network of young Iraqi men and women
promoting democratic values in Iraq.

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