posted on Jan, 23 2004 @ 07:29 PM
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The U.S.-backed plan for handing over power to Iraqis is unacceptable as it stands, according to a top Shiite Muslim leader who
met with President Bush this week.
However, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim said Friday that the Americans, as well as others, are slowly coming around to the need for elections to chose a new
legislature rather than have the members named by 18 regional caucuses.
``As it stands, it's unacceptable,'' al-Hakim said of the political blueprint reached Nov. 15 between L. Paul Bremer, America's top civilian
official in Iraq, and the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council. ``It was hurriedly agreed.''
Iraq's top Shiite cleric urged followers Friday to stop public demonstrations in support of his call for an early vote until U.N. experts decide
whether an election is feasible.
Tens of thousands have marched in Baghdad and elsewhere in support of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, whose opposition to an earlier
U.S.-backed plan forced Washington to drop it. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to decide next week whether to send a team to determine
whether early elections can be held.
After being promised liberty is anyone surprised that they would demand it, and refuse to support the creation of yet another puppet regime?
The so-called elections in the current plan are no such thing. It would be a behind closed doors selection of leaders.
Why not have free elections next week? There is no need for a cencus. The UN performed this under the Oil for Food program. Every citizen of Iraq has
a program card. There is no rational reason to delay the vote any longer.