[Marxism] Annan said to back US, oppose direct elections
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed Feb 18 21:45:35 MST 2004
Annan Is Said to Have Doubt on Iraq Voting
By WARREN HOGE
Published: February 19, 2004
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 18 - Secretary General Kofi Annan will endorse the
view that the interim Iraqi government to take office this summer cannot
be chosen by direct elections, but he will not make his recommendation
on Iraq's political future for at least a week, senior United Nations
diplomats said Wednesday.
The diplomats, who did not want to be quoted by name, said that Mr.
Annan would consult Thursday with his special envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar
Brahimi, who is returning from a weeklong examination of the political
situation in the country. Afterward, Mr. Brahimi is to discuss his
findings in a meeting with the Security Council.
The diplomats said that while Mr. Brahimi has concluded that setting up
credible elections by the June 30 deadline the United States set for
returning sovereignty to Iraq is not feasible, he will need more time to
develop clear options to pass along to Mr. Annan for the transfer of
The task of coming up with a recommendation for Iraq's political future
is a crucial one for the United Nations, which the Bush administration
excluded from participation in the postwar transition. Iraqi leaders
complained about the American plans for transferring power and requested
United Nations intervention.
Mr. Annan sent in Mr. Brahimi, a 70-year-old former Algerian foreign
minister whose reputation for resolving conflicts in the Muslim world
was enhanced by his just completed two years' service as the top United
Nations diplomat in Afghanistan.
Among those Mr. Brahimi saw in Iraq was Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani,
the spiritual leader of the Shiite Muslim majority, whose demands for
direct elections instead of the American formulation for indirect,
caucus-based voting caused the Bush administration to rethink its
The Americans approached the United Nations after Ayatollah Sistani
refused to deal directly with them but said he would drop his objections
if a United Nations team went to Iraq and decided that direct elections
were not feasible in the existing time frame.
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