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IN FRATERNAM MEAM
Monday, January 31, 2005
WHAT AMERICA THINKS OF IRAQ ELECTION
As Iraqis go to vote, there is skepticism
in the United States that anyone can ever
establish a stable democracy there, according
to public opinion surveys released just before
the Iraqi elections.

*************
FIFTY FIVE
*************

Percentage of Americans who disapprove
of President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq,
according to a recent CBS-New York Times poll.

**************
SIXTY SIX
**************

Percentage who believe U.S. should
support the choices of the Iraqi
people, even if they turn to an
uncooperative Islamic fundamentalist
government.


DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ
---------------------------
Who's voting

25.4 million people, about 14.0 million eligib;e
in Iraq, 1.2 million overseas

Major ethnic groups
Arab up to 80percnet
Kurds up to 20 percent
(voters are expected to cast ballots
along sectarian and ethnic divides)

---------

Religions

Muslim 97 percent
Shite 60 to 65 percent
Sunni 32 to 37 percent
Christian or toehr 3 percent
(several Sunni factions are boycotting
the election and have vowed violence.
Many feel threatened by a Siite majority)

---------

Who's on the ballot?

Ballots includes 111 parties vying for
seats in the national assembly.

Parties will win seats based on the
percentage of votes they win.

Every third name on each slate is a woman's

---------

First tasks

The legislature will draft a constitution
and appoint a central government.

Assembly has 275 members --- President---Two Vice Pres ---
Prime Minister---- Cabinet Members. (assembly appoints presidential council)

---------

NEW IRAQI LEADERSHIP TO BE CHOSEN

LEADING CANDIDATES FOR PRIME MINISTER
1. Ayad Allawi (Iraqi National Accord)
The interim prime minister, 60, is a doctor
and former member of the Baath Party who led
resistance efforts against Saddam Hussein for
thre decades rom exile in London.

A secular Shiite, Allawi has a reputation for
toughness and a long history of working with
the U.S. and Britain. Many Iraqis reportedly
view him as U.S. puppet, which may hurt him
in the elections.

His party's slate, the Iraqi list, is expected
to attract a measure of support but not enough to
challanege the United Iraqi Alliance.

2. Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim
(Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution
in Iraq)(SCIRI)
Al-Hakim has joined with other Shiite leaders
and the country's most influential Shiite cleric,
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, to form the
United Iraqi Alliance electoral state.

Al-Hakim was a member of the Iraqi government
Council, set up by a coalition forces after the
fall of Baghdad. SCIRI was founded
as a guerilla movement oin 1982 in Iran.

SCIRI once advocated the establishment of an
Islamic state in Iran but now says it supports
a secular democracy.

3. Adil Abdul Mahdi (SCIRI)
Mahdi, a 62-year old Shiite, is the fiance minister
of the interim government.

He was a political activist in 1960's and was
repeatedly jailed until 1969, when the Baath Party
stripped him of his passport.

He went into exile in France, where he studied
politics and economics and became te head of the
French Institute for Islamic Studies. He also
served as a SCIRI representative in Iran.

In 1992-96, Mahdi is the son of a respected
Shiite cleric who was a Cabinet minister in the
Iraqi monarchy.

4. Ibrahim al-Jaafari
(Dawa Islamiyah Paety)
Al-Jaafari, a 58 year old doctor, is a leader of
Dawa and served as a vice president in the interim
government.

Dawa, a Siite oppostion group that fought
Saddam Hussein's rule, has a strong linkls to Iran.

Many of its members were forced to flee to Iran
in 1982 after the government crackdown.

Dawa was the largest Shiite party in Iraq
until 2003, when it split into three factions.
Al-Jaafari heads the most influential of the
factions and has pledged his support for democratic
reforms.

------------

LEADING CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT

Sheik Ghazi al-Yawar
(Iraqis Party)

The 45 year old sheik served as interim president
of Iraq, a largely ceremonial post.

He is a Sunni and a member of the prominent Shammar
tribe, born in Mosul, Yawer studied in Saudi Arabia
and the United States; he is a civil engineer.

Adnan Pachachi
(Assembly of Independent Democrats)

The 81 year old Pachachi is an elder statesman of
Iraqi politics.

A secular Sunni, he was foreign minister of the
government toppled by the Bbath Party in 1968
and servced on the Iraqi governing council after
the March 2003 invasion. He turned down an offer
to become president of the interim government.

After initially pushing for a posponement of
the Jan. 30 elections, he decided to join the
political process and is running for a seat
in the transitional assembly.

Jalal Talabani
(Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)

Talabani, 70, is a Kurd and leader of the PUK,
one of the two main Kurdish political parties.

As a youth, he was a member of the other main
Kurdish party, the Kurdish democratic Party (KDP)
He founded the PUK in 1975.

He is running with KDP leader Massoud Barzani on a
joint Kurdish slate, the Kurdish Alliance list.

Massoud Barzani
KDP

Barzani, 56, is the son of the KDP's founder and
former leader, Mustafa Barzani.

The younger Barzani took over the party's leadership
after his father's death in 1979 and fought pitched
battles for many years against both Saddam Hussein
and the PUK.

Barzani and Talabani, longtime enemies, have patched
to run together on the Kurdish Alliance List,
the main Kurdish electoral slate.


(abstracted from TRIBUNEREPORT/DAILY HERALD/SUNTIMES)


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Name: infraternam meam
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