Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Quick hit #3

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall seeing anything in the US media about this, in fact I didn't see much of anything about it in blogs, either. Am I that out of touch, or was this largely ignored?

The Daily Times of Pakistan reported almost two weeks ago that
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said plans for elections in Iraq could be delayed because of continuing unrest after the US-led handover of power, according to a Thai government spokesman on Tuesday. Annan met Tuesday with Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and said he wanted Thai troops to stay on after the end of their year-long deployment as continuing violence threatened elections slated to be held before the end of January, the spokesman said. "Annan said Iraq could not return to normal soon because of the problem with its internal security and he said that this could affect or even delay organising the elections," Jakrapob [Penkair] said.
If it didn't get noticed here, it damn well got noticed in Iraq. For example, Al-Mutamar, issued daily by the Iraqi National Congress, responded sharply, as noted in the Iraqi Press Monitor for July 20.
The spokesman of Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Taki al-Muderresi commented on Kofi Annan's statement regarding the possibility of a one-year delay of elections in Iraq due to the security situation. He said the UN surprised us with a new shock after the one of Lakdhar al-Ibrahimi. He added that the UN statement contradicted the articles and decisions of the international organization which was supposed to hasten provision of the mechanism and requirements to have the elections in the due time. Delaying the election would encourage violence and terrorism. There was no alternate to having the elections in order to establish a legal and elected government to end terrorism.
There is a difference there in that al-Muderresi refers to a one-year delay when Annan referred to delays in elections a year from now. Perhaps that was a misunderstanding on Muderresi's part. Still, even suggesting the idea of delaying the election produced a hostile response.

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