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Iraq Elections Cannot Be Held Before 30 June

Consensus Emerges That Iraq Elections Cannot Be Held Before 30 June – Annan

Citing an “emerging consensus,” United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said elections cannot be organized in Iraq before the 30 June deadline for a transfer of sovereignty – a date he said should be “respected.”

In the interim between the handover and the polling, a caretaker government should be established, Mr. Annan told reporters following a meeting with his Special Advisor, Lakhdar Brahimi, who just returned from a fact-finding mission to Iraq, and the “Group of Friends” on the country. “We hope that as we move forward we will be able to work with the Iraqis and the coalition to find a mechanism for establishing a caretaker or an interim government until such time that elections are organized,” the Secretary-General said, citing an “emerging consensus or understanding that elections cannot be held before end of June [and] that the June 30th date for handover of sovereignty must be respected.”

“We need to find a mechanism to create a caretaker government and then help prepare the elections later – sometime later in the future,” he added.

Mr. Brahimi noted that the Secretary-General would be “sending his first recommendation – this is not a one-off activity – on the basis of the facts that we have assembled.”

“The United Nations will be resuming its work to help the political process, first of all up to the 30th of June and then after the 30th of June when sovereignty will be restored to Iraq,” he stressed.

The Secretary-General called the meeting “very good,” noting that he and Mr. Brahimi had shared “where we stand, what we hope to do next, and… the state of play.”

The Group’s 46 members “all expressed their appreciation for the work done by Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi and the team,” he added.

Mr. Brahimi welcomed the support of the Group, which he said would be “closely associated with our work and supporting the re-engagement of the United Nations in Iraq.”

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