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Iraq: Envoy Continues to Facilitate Elections

Iraq: UN Envoy Continues Meetings to Facilitate December Elections

New York, Oct 27 2005 3:00PM

Continuing his efforts to ensure an inclusive national dialogue following Iraq’s constitutional referendum, the top United Nations envoy in the country today discussed the upcoming December elections with Deputy Prime Minster Rowsh Shaways.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative Ashraf Qazi, who also held talks yesterday with President Jalal Talabani, reiterated the UN commitment to assist in the electoral process.

His meetings are part of the ongoing discussions with Iraqi Government officials and political leaders in the aftermath of the referendum, which was approved in the mainly Shiite and Kurdish provinces but rejected in the Sunni Arab provinces.

Shiites represent about 60 per cent of the population, while Sunni Arabs, who were the dominant political force in Saddam Hussein’s ousted regime, and Kurds represent about 20 per cent each.

On Monday, Mr. Qazi warned that the degree of political polarization shown by the results of the referendum underscored the importance of an inclusive national dialogue and of all communities participating in December's general elections.

ENDS

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