Report: US may agree to elections for Iraq government; Powell calls UN to be more active
The Bush administration is considering holding elections to form a provincial government in Iraq rather than have its members selected by regional caucuses, a media report said on Friday.
This shift in the US stance came after Ayatollah Ali Sistani, a senior Shiite cleric, rejected a plan devised earlier this month to select a provisional government through 18 regional caucuses, The Washington Post reported.
Senior US officials told the newspaper the administration may be forced to organize elections to satisfy the cleric. "Elections are now a possibility," a senior US official was quoted by the paper. "We're scrambling to find a solution."
"We were surprised that Sistani did not bless the plan," another senior administration official said. "We're waiting to see what he says. If he says no to the caucuses, then we have to figure out a way to get elections done."
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Colin Powell has urged the United Nations to be more involved in preparing the timetable and arrangements for restoring self-rule in Iraq.
In an interview with French newspaper Liberation published on Friday, Powell noted, however, he saw no need yet for a new U.N. resolution on the issue.
"I want the U.N. to play an active role now. The President certainly wants it too...The U.N can play a real role in the next six months -- it has the expertise and skills for this type of effort," Powell conveyed. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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