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Riz Khan
Iraq's rocky road to elections
Could intensified violence prevent elections from taking place in January as planned?
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2009 08:12 GMT



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The Iraqi government is hoping that elections planned for January 16, 2010, will go ahead as scheduled, but many challenges lie ahead.  

A spate of suicide bombings threatens to make this a bloody political season.

On Sunday, twin truck bombs targeting the Justice Ministry and the seat of the local government in Baghdad killed more than 150 people.

Two months before that, more than 100 people were killed in coordinated attacks on the Finance and Foreign ministries.

On the political front, a battle between Arabs and Kurds over Kirkuk is another major obstacle. The Arab majority wants to use the disputed city's voter registry from 2004, because since then Kurds have flooded in and changed the demographics of the city.

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Parliament stalemated on the issue, and now a special committee will try to settle it before the end of this month.

And even when elections are held eventually, analysts are warning of post-election disarray.

In each previous election, Iraqi politicians have squabbled for months before selecting a new prime minister.

On Tuesday, Riz looks at what lies ahead for Iraq. We speak with Laith Kubba, a former Iraqi government spokesman, J. Scott Carpenter, a former director in the US Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and Steven Clemons, the director of the American Strategy Programme at the New America Foundation.

This episode of the Riz Khan show aired from Tuesday, October 27, 2009.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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