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Iraq Braces Itself for Post-Election Violence - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat- political parties in Iraq are expecting the final announcement of the results of the elections held on 7 March to lead to the deterioration in the country’s security situation while the Interior Ministry denied that the security organs have been put in state of alert in expectation of security troubles which some parties in the country are hinting at.

Thair al-Naqib, an Al-Iraqiya List candidate and adviser to former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, did not rule out security troubles during the coming days, particularly following the threats to several officials in the Independent Higher Elections Commission [IHEC] in addition to the prime minister’s statement in which he referred to the possible return of violence to the country. Al-Naqib told Asharq Al-Awsat that the reality indicates that the situations in the country would exacerbate, particularly after several IHEC members received threatening letters concerning the elections results in addition to Al-Maliki’s tacit threat in his statement in which he demanded a manual recount of votes. He asked: “How can the prime minister, who is the head of authority, make this threat that was obvious in his statement addressed to the IHEC? He was supposed to be the example to be followed in the peaceful handover of authority.” He then added: “The recent statements might create problems in a changing situation like that of Iraq.” He urged all parties “to refrain from statements that create more tension and to act calmly and peacefully.”

Al-Naqib denied that Al-Iraqiya List “will ask its masses to come out if it was not satisfied with the elections results. We submitted complaints to the IHEC and the United Nations about violations during the elections and the counting of votes and our reaction will be according to the extent of the response to our complaints.”

However, Haydar al-Abadi, a State of Law candidate and a leading member in Al-Dawa Party, pointed out that Al-Maliki’s statements were within the context of the latter’s commitment to the harmonious political process in the country during the current stage and stressed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the “IHEC should be more transparent and clear in its steps of counting the voters’ votes.” He said “the reference in Al-Maliki’s statement to the deterioration in the security situation meant that the people’s votes should not be confiscated and if they were, then this would create tension in the situation.” He added that “many of the terrorist operations increased before the elections and calmed down during the previous days and this indicates that certain parties were behind the actions and we fear their return if they did not get good results in the elections.”

In her turn, Asia Ahmad, former member of the Iraqi parliament from the Kurdish Alliance, said in press statements that the “struggle to form the government by Iyad Allawi and Al-Maliki’s blocs will be the reason for the deterioration in the security situations”, adding: “We warn that this struggle will affect the security situations, particularly as the capital Baghdad sees frequent violations.”

Informed sources had reported that instructions were issued to the army and police to be in a state of alert in anticipation of the country getting into a state of violence. But Adnan al-Asadi, an undersecretary at the Interior Ministry, denied this and asserted to Asharq al-Awsat that “all the security organs have been ready since the start of the elections and until now.” But he added that “the Interior Ministry has nothing to do with the elections and its tasks are confined to monitor the situation in the country.” He pointed out that the “all the ministry’s units are in a state of alert and readiness and deployed in the country in case some hostile quarters might exploit the current conditions.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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