Saturday, December 24, 2005

Accusations of Fraud and Reported Disqualification of Sunni Candidates Creates Election Confusion in Iraq

Many Sunni leaders have been joined by secular Shi'ites and the party of present Prime Minister Allawi in making charges of massive fraud in the recent Iraqi elections.

A coalition group, calling itself Maram, has gathered at least 20,000 demonstrators in Baghdad to express their reservations on the votes legitimacy.

Publius feels these charges have great merit, at Iraqi Bloggers Central Jeffrey believes that the vote looks fairly accurate but Mr. Ghost believes that an intransigent Islamist government is being created. On the other hand, Iraq the Model is encouraged by Shi'ite willingness to discuss an inclusive coalition government to soothe the Sunnis and secularists.

So far, conversations between the various factions have been fairly civil (although the leader of the religious Shi'ite coalition that appears to have won a huge victory says that the "sore losers" may be guilty of "terrorism" if they threaten to disrupt the elected government or demand a new election).

More ominous is a report today saying that the "Anti-Baathist Commission" has declared that as many as 90 Sunni candidates have been disqualified because of previous association with Saddam Hussein's ruling party. One of those reportedly disqualified was the Vice-Chair of the committee that drafted the new Iraqi constitution. If true, this would only serve to further disestablish Sunni voters who may come to the conclusion that they will have nothing to do with the new government.

This, of course, would be a disaster of the highest magnitude.

Somehow, some way, this must all be sorted out peacefully and in a manner satisfactory to all the parties involved. I'm not sure I can see how this will all turn out to be a good thing. Time will tell. In the meantime I am praying for the Iraqi people (including Sunni, Shi'ite, secularists, Christian and Kurd) who deserve good, stable, just and honest leadership in their new government...whoever they may turn out to be.