Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi insisted that holding elections on time on January 30 was crucial to quelling the growing violence. "The violence, terrorists and the outlaws will not be allowed to stop the political process and destroy the country," he told reporters in the Iraqi capital. "The Iraqi government and myself personally urge Iraqis to vote and participate in the political process," he said Wednesday, according to AFP.
Meanwhile in London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was committed to elections in Iraq on January 30 in order to deny the "terrorists" a victory.
"I am committed to it, yes, because I think it is extremely important that the terrorists don't gain a victory," Blair told BBC radio. "I saw it myself talking to people when I visited Baghdad before Christmas. Nobody in Iraq wants Saddam (Hussein) back," Blair said Wednesday.
"The vast majority of Iraqis want to participate in elections," the British leader added.