Iraqi PM vows polls will take place

Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has vowed that elections will go ahead as scheduled in January, even if some Iraqis are unable to vote.

    Allawi says his government is 'determined' to win the war

    He acknowledged there were current problems in his country, especially in the violence-wracked city of Falluja, but these would not prevent the elections from being held.

    In an interview published on Monday in several western newspapers, Allawi said: "If for any reason 300,000 people cannot have an election, cannot vote because terrorists decide so, then frankly 300,000 people ... is not going to alter 25 million people voting."
     
    If the elections were prevented in Falluja, its inhabitants could vote later, the prime minister said.

    His government was "determined to win the war against the terrorists, and establish democracy in Iraq", Allawi told Le Figaro.

    He also expected ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein to go on trial before the end of the year and hoped the trial would help establish a clear distinction between members of Saddam's Baath party who committed crimes during his rule, and those who simply joined the party because they had to.

    Saddam Hussein is expected to go
    on trial before the end of 2004

    Of former Baath party officials who did not commit crimes, he said: "We are not interested in pursuing them. They should be part of the civil society of Iraq, part of the political process."

    US 'strategy'

    Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Sunday the United States was confident elections could be held in Iraq on schedule in January despite the unrest raging in the country.

    "There is an insurgency raging. We see it every day, there's no question about it."

    Asked if elections could be held in one part of the country but not another, Powell said: "I'm not saying that ... our strategy is to bring all these places under government control and to do it in time for the elections."

    More than 100 people died in a wave of bombings and battles between US troops and armed fighters in Iraq on Sunday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.