Thursday, January 22, 2004

US set for Iraq election retreat: "The US-led coalition in Iraq is on the verge of bowing to Shia Muslim pressure for direct elections before the handover of power on June 30... A shift in plans for elections follows a series of abrupt policy changes made by the coalition over the last few months, mainly forced by events on the ground, and will add to the sense of disarray in the CPA. The CPA has come under sustained pressure in recent days from Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most senior Shia cleric in Iraq."

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