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How Honest and Open will the Elections be in Iraq?

By Alain Dumere, Freelance Press Writer
- While the Us and Western Allies are playing up the notion of free and democratic elections taking place in Iraq, independent analysts are pondering the validity of the process and outcome.

In a poll taken recently, the US's main ally and hope, Iyad Allawi was voted the most hated man in Iraq; (President Bush was voted the most hated in the world.) Yet to listen to the "experts" in the Green Zone Allwai is a "shoe in" to be elected.A poll by the International Republican Institute, showed that almost 60 percent of Iraqis say Allawi, a Shiite, has been effective since taking office.The release of this survey now after being conducted, based on 1,903 interviews from Nov. 24 to Dec. 5 seems to smell like US propaganda machine oiling the wheels for a Allawi Victory.

The stake for Bush in Allawi being elected is probably even greater than than the need for the elections to be seen to be as fair and as neutral as possible.Bush yesterday promised to".. have the troop levels necessary to complete the mission. And that mission is to enable Iraq to defend herself from terrorists, homegrown or terrorists that come in from outside of the country.''He talked about U.S. continued involvement over the next year.

It is in Bush's interest to have Allawi elected because he’s the only politician in all of the parties, apart from a Kurdish party, that would have the US to stay in Iraq.Everyone else want America out of Iraq and they’ve said so.
So how according to the cynics is the US going to manufacture a Allawi win when he is so reviled in his home country?

Well, say the cynics all the major “observers” of the Iraqi election are to be positioned in Jordan Then, it seems that the votes will be counted in Jordan.Who they are to be counted by is not yet known. Also allowing the Iraqi Expats to vote when they have had little contact with their home country seems will benefit the Status Quo and help Allwai.

Thus, Allawi is the American’s man.

More Pre Election Violence in Iraq

Northeast of the capital in Baquba, an Iraqi police lieutenant was killed and three others wounded in a suicide car bombing Thursday outside the Diyala provincial governor's office, authorities said.

With a large Sunni Muslim population, Diyala is believed to be the only Iraqi province in which religious leaders have given Sunnis dispensation to vote.The minority Sunnis dominated under Saddam's rule but fear the election will benefit the majority Shiites.

In Babil province, one U.S. Marine was killed and four others wounded Thursday, the coalition press office said. The death brought the U.S. death toll in the war to 1,420, according to the U.S. milita

British soldiers 'ordered to give Iraqis a good kicking'

Press Association

Wednesday January 26, 2005 British soldiers accused of abusing and assaulting Iraqi prisoners at an aid camp in southern Iraq were told to give their detainees "a good kicking", a court heard today.

Former Sergeant Major Richard Jackson allegedly told the soldiers that it was policy at Camp Bread Basket near Basra to punish Iraqi thieves.

Mr Jackson, who has since left the army, allegedly took another soldier's rifle and took potshots at Iraqi thieves hiding in sand dunes outside the camp in a "reckless and negligent" act, the court also heard.

Mr Jackson denied both charges.


CAMEROON: Clinical trial of anti-HIV drug on sex workers in question

YAOUNDE, 27 Jan 2005 (IRIN) - The Cameroon Health minister has said he may stop the clinical trial of an anti-AIDS drug being tested on local sex workers in the city of Douala following allegations that the women are receiving inadequate counselling and medical care. Urbain Olanguena Awono warned that he would put a stop to the clinical trial of Tenofovir if the criticisms of it were true.

" This is a very important study because it aims to find out whether a drug that has already proved effective for treatment can also be used to prevent HIV infection," he said on Monday.
The drug being trialled is Tenofovir, which is made by the US company Gilead, and is sold under the brand name Viread.

The drug is being tested as a possible prophylactic to prevent people becoming infected with the HIV virus.

AIDS activists in France have alleged that the women volunteers taking part in the clinical trial in Douala have not been sufficiently informed of the risks involved.They have accused Gilead and its agents who are conducting the clinical trial in Cameroon, of failing to guarantee free healthcare to the sex workers if they become infected during the course of the trial.

Cameroon is popular with scientists as a testing ground for anti-AIDS drugs because every known sub-type of the HIV virus is found in the country.

UN Regional Information Africa

Dec 04

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