Monday, December 26, 2005

Post-election tension grows in Iraq

"BAGHDAD (UPI) -Tensions are growing in Iraq where angry protesters are charging irregularities in last week's elections.

Minority Sunni Arabs received fewer votes than expected in the Dec. 15 parliamentary poll, which has sparked charges of vote-rigging along with fears of further violence between the Sunnis and majority-garnering Shiite Muslims, the New York Times reported Sunday.

Further raising concerns for peace, Shiite and Sunni leaders have called for separate armies for their regions while the Kurds already have one in place, the newspaper noted.

"Every group here is afraid of every other group: The Sunnis are afraid, the Shiites are afraid, and the Kurds are afraid," an unidentified Western diplomat in Baghdad told the Times. "And the response to that has been to sort of draw together as a kind of self-preservation tactic."

Meanwhile, Sunnis are calling for a re-vote in contested regions, while the Shiites claim a do-over would be precluded by Iraqi law.

Leaders of the factions are meeting with U.S. negotiators to try and settle the stalemate over the election results, the Times said."
The Kurdistani


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