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Kucinich: Iraq Elections Will Be A Farce

AM > CONTACT: Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) > Doug 
Gordon 202-225-5871 (o) > 202-494-5141 (c) > > 
Kucinich: Iraq Elections Will Be A Farce; 
Closest International Election Monitors Will Get Will Be Amman, Jordan 
> In Letter To Secretary of State Rice and 
Ambassador Negroponte; Kucinich Cites Lack Of International Monitors > 
WASHINGTON -- January 26 -- Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich 
(D-OH) today said that Iraqi elections, to be held on Sunday, will be 
a farce. In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and John 
Negroponte, the United States Ambassador to Iraq, Kucinich cites a 
total absence of international election monitors in Iraq for Sunday's 
elections. The closest international monitors will get to Iraq on 
Sunday will be Amman, Jordan. > > In the letter, sent today, 
Kucinich states, > > "It is clear, in just five days before the 
Iraqi elections are to be held, that it will be impossible to conclude 
anything about the extent to which corruption, voter intimidation or 
outright fraud will mar the results. The exercise will regrettably be 
a farce. The results will have no recognized legitimacy whatsoever, 
and surely do not merit association with the United States' notions of 
democracy. > > "The elections will not yield certifiable results 
due to the pitifully small number of election observers, and the total 
absence of international election observers from the process. Indeed, 
according to the Washington Post, this is the first transitional 
election in the past two decades that will not have international 
election observers touring polling stations. As you know, 
international monitors have independently observed and evaluated 
elections throughout the world and have helped to point out when they 
are fraudulent and when they are legitimate." > > In previous 
transitional elections across the world, the international community 
has sent teams of observers to polling sites. International observers 
have observed recent transitional elections in Nigeria in 1999, Haiti 
in 1990, East Timor in 2001-2002, and most recently in the second 
runoff election in the Ukraine. > > No international body will 
have election monitors in Iraq on Sunday. The International Mission 
for Iraqi Elections, led by Canada's chief electoral officer, 
Jean-Pierre Kingsley, and comprised of less than two dozen election 
experts from Australia, Bangladesh, Britain, Canada, Ghana, Hungary, 
Indonesia, Mexico, Panama and Yemen, will monitor the elections, not 
in Iraq, but instead operate from Amman, Jordan. > > "I hope the 
Administration does not engage in wishful thinking that this farce of 
an election can beget anything other than farce. What a disservice we 
do to Iraqis who risk danger to cast their votes or run for office in 
this irredeemable formality. And what distortion of real democracy is 
being done in America's name: It will surely discredit the United 
States in the eyes of the world," Kucinich concludes in his letter. >
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