BAD NEWS FROM BAGHDAD
CHRISTIAN VOTES CAST ASIDE
Paul L. Williams, Ph.D.
The Iraqi National Accord led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has regained a narrow lead in Iraqi parliamentary election vote counting, officials say.
But the State of Law Coalition led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki remains ahead in Baghdad, al-Jazeera reported Saturday.
Advisers from the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq have been monitoring the vote, updating results on a special Web site built for this year’s elections, the report said.
Though up to 93 percent of the votes cast in the March 7 balloting have been counted, the total does not yet include the votes of soldiers, police or Iraqis living abroad.
The integrity of the election has come into question since almost all the ballots from Christian Iraqis have been rejected as invalid.
The decision to throw out the Christian prompted noted Middle East commentator Debbie Schlussel to say that the election represent a sad commentary those who believed “George Bush’s extension of democracy to this savage world was a good idea.”
Mr. Allawi and other officials of the Iraqi National Accord were responsible for conveying phony intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction to the Bush Administration.
This intelligence prompted the US-led invasion in March 2003 and the seven year occupation.
In recent years, Mr. Allawi has forged an alliance with the Iraqi Communist Party and gained the financial support of the Saudi ruling dynasty.