Any of these “reasons” sound familiar? They should. Most of them were mentioned prior to the Afghan elections and by the same news sources. Guess we will just have to wait and see won’t we…
The largest political party representing Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority announced Monday that it would drop out of the Jan. 30 election, dealing a fresh blow to the vote’s credibility on the same day the top Shiite Muslim candidate survived a car bombing.
But voter registration in Sunni areas has lagged far behind registration in other parts of Iraq, according to Iraq’s top election official, Hussain Hindawi. Voters have not been able to register at all in Anbar province, home to the restive cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. Candidates have proved scarce as well: The 41 openings on Anbar’s proposed provincial council have drawn only 50 candidates.
In another troubling sign, Western diplomats noted that preliminary indicators of voter participation nationwide are markedly lower than expected, judging by the sluggish early rate at which Iraqis have offered corrections to voter rolls.
Officials blame the problems on poor security and a late start in public information campaigns intended to explain the election to a population ruled by dictatorship for three decades. Leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party also cited security as a reason for withdrawing the Sunni party’s slate of 275 candidates.
“We asked to postpone the election long ago because we believe the security situation in the country is not suitable to hold elections,” Mohsen Abdul Hamid, head of the party, told reporters in Baghdad.
"The Iraqis don’t understand the elections yet," he said. “We need enough time, at least six months, to prepare ourselves. . . . The security issue is very complicated.” [/quote]
This from Reuters
[quote] Ahmed Rashid says elections should be postponed until Spring 2005 Analysts believe more time required to bring about stability in the country
Political analysts say President Hamid Karzai is under pressure from his backers in Washington to hold the vote as soon as possible, so it can be touted as a foreign policy victory by President George W Bush as he seeks re-election in November.
But the consequences could be seriously damaging for Afghanistan, they warn.