US accused of favouring Shia

A prominent Sunni Muslim religious figure on Friday implied the US was favouring the Shia and said elections should only take place after the end of the occupation.

    Sunni cleric wants the US out before elections are held

    "The occupiers want to favour one party over the other," Sheikh Ahmed Abd al-Ghafur told worshippers on Friday at  Baghdad's Umm al-Qura mosque, in reference to the Shia.

      

    "The Iraqis want elections, that's important. But what's more important is to think about ending the occupation because if elections are held under occupation they will not be fair ..."

      

    "What is the alternative? A timetable for the end of the occupation, a deployment of forces from the United Nations and the Arab League, the adoption of a constitution and then elections," he said.

     

    Constitution

      

    "The Americans are not able to protect themselves, how can they protect the Iraqis? And elections cannot be valid in the absence of a constitution," Abd al-Ghafur said.

      

    Iraq's top Shia cleric Grand Ayat Allah Ali al-Sistani is demanding a vote be held before a 30 June deadline for the handover of political power, so that an elected administration takes over from the occupation forces.

      

    But the US-led occupation argues that free and fair elections cannot be held within the deadline. It proposes a selection process based on regional caucuses for the first post-occupation legislature.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.