[QODLink]
Archive
UN experts back in Iraq within days

A team of UN election experts will arrive in

Last Modified: 20 Mar 2004 06:18 GMT
Al-Ibrahimi was initially against elections before 30 June

A team of UN election experts will arrive in Iraq within 10 days, while UN envoy Al-Akhdar al-Ibrahimi will do so in the next couple of weeks.

"We expect the election team within 10 days and we hope al-Ibrahimi will be here in a couple of weeks," an occupation official said in Baghdad on Friday.

  

The statement came a few hours after US Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Baghdad and held talks with the top US occupation adminstrator Paul Bremer, interim Governing Council members and foreign minister Hoyshar Zebari.

  

The 25-member council on Wednesday said it was inviting the UN back to Iraq for advice on holding national elections and assembling the caretaker government set to rule the country at the end of the US occupation in June.

 

Objections

  

Some Shia members on the council had previously objected to al-Ibrahimi's return after he visited Iraq in February and counselled against holding elections there before 30 June.

 

They accused al-Ibrahimi of not even listening to their arguments in favour of quick polls and of just following the lead of Washington.

  

Grand Ayat Allah Ali al-Sistani, who wields powerful influence over the nation's Shia Muslim community, had originally called for direct elections to take place before the handover.

  

Al-Sistani was thought to be behind resistance to al-Ibrahimi's return until the UN envoy announced on Tuesday the Shia spiritual leader had sent a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan encouraging the world body's return to Iraq.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.