Rice backs Iraq poll probe

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, has welcomed an investigation into alleged electoral fraud in Iraq.

    Rice said the US was strongly supportive of the poll review

    "I welcome the invitation of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq to international monitors and experts to observe and review the December 15 elections, including the complaints settlement process," Rice said in a statement.

     

    Her comments came after the International Mission for Iraqi Elections announced that it was sending a team of independent experts to issue a follow-up report on alleged irregularities in the vote.

     

    Sunni representatives have claimed that the elections were tainted by widespread fraud and led street demonstrations demanding a new election. Iraq's electoral commission has ruled out rerunning the election but it may reject ballots found to have been tainted by fraud.

     

    Rice said she welcomed statements from Iraqi parties that had issued complaints supporting the electoral commission's decision to invite international monitors back for a review.

     

    "The Electoral Commission has once again demonstrated its commitment to fair and credible elections that meet international standards," Rice said. "The United States strongly supports the election review process."

     

    Fair hearing

     

    The vote and the electoral commission's work showed that "the Iraqi people are committed to democracy and the peaceful resolution of political differences", the statement said. "We look forward to final results that represent the will of the Iraqi people and are accepted by them."

     

    Final results of the vote are expected next week.

     

    Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, also welcomed the planned assessment by the international monitors, saying it was crucial that those who had complaints could receive a fair hearing.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Senegal's village of women

    Senegal's village of women

    Women in northeast Senegal are using solar-powered irrigation to farm food and halt the encroaching desert.

    Inside Baltimore's human trafficking industry

    Inside Baltimore's human trafficking industry

    Survivors of sex trafficking and those who investigate it in the city share their stories.

    A tale of two isolations

    A tale of two isolations

    More than 1,000km apart, a filmmaker and the subject of his film contend with the methods and meanings of solitude.