[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
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.