Iraqi minister backs election delay on French radio

6th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 5 (AFP) - An Iraqi minister on Wednesday backed the postponement of the January 30 elections to enable the "intolerable" security situation to improve and as many people as possible to take part.

PARIS, Jan 5 (AFP) - An Iraqi minister on Wednesday backed the postponement of the January 30 elections to enable the "intolerable" security situation to improve and as many people as possible to take part.

"If it is January 30 or six months later, if that really makes a difference in the improvement" of the situation, "why not?", Displacement and Migration Minister Pascale Warda told a French radio station.

"For us, what is important is that they should be held for the greatest number possible," Warda said on the Europe One channel.

"People are saying that if they can be put off, that will perhaps be a solution. We will have the time to explain things better, campaign etc. It would in no way be a loss, on the contrary it would be much better."

Earlier Warda described the security situation as "intolerable and you could say that it is not encouraging for the elections."

"We will ensure the security of the polling stations but there is all the rest, the movements ... " Warda added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and his main backers, US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, have said they were committed to the January 30 poll, despite an escalation of deadly attacks by insurgents.

Warda is not the first minister to express doubts. On Monday Defence Minister Hazem al-Shaalan told AFP they could be delayed if minority Sunni groups, who have vowed to boycott the vote, could be convinced to take part.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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