Most senior Shiite cleric in Iraq wants full elections; Former bodyguard of Saddam captured
The religious head of Iraq's Shiite majority, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, wants full elections for all Iraqi administrative and political bodies to be formed in the future, Jalal Talabani, chairman of the US-backed Governing Council said.
According to AFP, Talabani told reporters that "Ayatollah Sistani has one reservation only" with the agreement signed by the interim Governing Council and the US-led authority on November 15 for the transfer of political power to Iraqis.
"He wants the Iraqi people to be consulted. He wants elections to be held for the municipal councils as well as the legislative council," Talabani said, speaking after a meeting with Sistani, who is one of only five living grand ayatollahs and the most senior Shiite cleric in Iraq.
Sistani argued that despite the lack of a reliable census in Iraq, elections can still be held on the basis of the food ration cards distributed to the population under the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein and that are still in use, said Talabani.
Meanwhile, a former bodyguard of ousted Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, was arrested during a US army raid north of the city of Ramadi, west of Baghdad, the US military said on Thursday.
The troops “conducted a raid on a house north of Ramadi suspected of insurgent activity” Wednesday, a Central Command statement said. “At approximately 3:00 am (0000 GMT), the unit established a cordon of the area and entered the house, capturing four Iraqi personnel. Brigadier General Khalid Arak Hatimy, a former bodyguard of Saddam Hussein, was one of the men captured,” it added, according to AFP. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)