Asharq Al-Awsat, Baghdad – Iraq’s former prime minister warned against vote rigging in Thursday’s parliamentary elections and called on the current government and the electoral commission to “provide all the necessary conditions in order to ensure the integrity” of the vote.
Iyad Allawi was speaking at a press conference held at the offices of the National List, which he heads. He expressed hope that the elections would lead to "a balanced parliament that will lead to the creation of a strong government that could enforce stability in Iraq.”
He urged his fellow Iraqis to take part in the elections, adding, “As Iraqis we all have to head for the polls to cast our votes with transparency and integrity, based on our conviction that the results will be in the best interest of Iraq.”
Asked whether an Islamic government will be formed if he lost the elections, Allawi stated that his party, the Iraqi National List had previously announced it “does not accept an Islamic government be established in Iraq, meaning that Islam rules over politics.” He added, “We belong to a national liberal school of thought. We do not believe in an Islamic state in Iraq”. In case such a situation, “I believe that Iraq would descend into the abyss."
Allawi thanked Grand Ayatollah Sistani for “supporting all candidates in the elections and for his role as a father figure for all Iraqis.”
The ex-premier attacked Ahmad Chalabi, for being the main reason that the former Iraqi army and the ministry of information were disbanded after he discussed the matter with Paul Bremer,” the US administrator in Iraq at the time.
Rasim Al Awady, an assistant to Allawi, called upon Ahmad Chalabi to “solve his problems with Jordan before speaking of administrative or financial corruption in Iraq,” in reference to his conviction in absentia in Jordan for fraud.
Meanwhile, National Assembly president, Hajim Hosni urged Iraqis to participate in the elections and to choose their representatives with care.
In a message addressed to the Iraqi people in the run-up to the vote, Hosni said, “The much anticipated elections are the most free and democratic elections Iraq has witnessed in decades to elect a national government for the next four years.”
He urged Iraqis, to “make the most of the golden opportunity to rectify a state of corruption that has befallen Iraq. This is a chance to build a bright future for Iraqis by choosing a national government that represents all Iraqis and is free from all forms of factionalism and racism.”