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Why Iraqis should boycott the election

9. January 2005

by Prof. Mohammed Al-Obaidi*

Forty-seven Iraqi political parties met on 17 November and made the decision to boycott the coming Iraq election. The People`s Struggle Movement (Al-Kifah al-Shabi), which I represent, was one of those groups.

After carefully studying Iraq`s situation, considering the military occupation as well as economic and national interests, we felt there were enough reasons for any patriotic Iraqi to boycott the proposed January election.

It is a violation of all international laws. International charters that regulate the relationship between occupiers and occupied do not give occupying authorities the mandate to instigate a change in the country`s social, economic and political structure.

The planned election will change the political composition of Iraq to suit the interests of the occupation authorities. The change will also lead to ethnic, sectarian and religious divisions that the Iraqi state and people had succeeded to avoid.

Historically, Iraqis have been able to coexist and the spectre of civil war did not loom until the country was stricken by the US-led occupation.

Many Iraqi political activists believe the coming election results have been decided already. They also believe the electoral process will not be free and democratic but will be exclusively for those who maintain strong ties with the US occupation authorities. We feel that all steps have been taken to secure full US domination of decision-makers in Iraq.

A look at the electoral process and the composition of the current national council reveals that the election`s main mission will be to install some of the country`s most notorious politicians who have constantly spoken proudly of their links to international intelligence agencies.

The coming election will give power to every politician who has assisted the invaders and collaborated with them to consolidate the occupation. Therefore, we believe that even after the election, the decision-making process will be taken in the US embassy in Baghdad and the elected government will be no more than a vehicle to carry out Washington`s decisions.

It is very difficult for any sensible person to believe that the US would give up its domination of Iraq after spending billions of dollars and sacrificing the lives of hundreds of its soldiers.
We cannot believe that after all this the US will simply allow free and democratic elections to take place in Iraq that could install a government which could make it its first priority to tell foreign troops to get out.

We strongly believe that the main purpose of the election process is to secure a government that will facilitate long-lasting agreements with the US to keep its forces on Iraqi soil and transform the country into an American colony.

The US administration works hard to portray the Iraq election as a political achievement to cover over the scar that the war has left on its credibility.

Washington will use the election card to pull the wool over the eyes of the international community to prevent it from seeing the tragic consequences that the war has left on the Iraqi people.

For all these reasons, many Iraqi political activists feel it is their national duty to boycott the 30 January election.

* Spokesman for the People´s Struggle Movement – Iraq. This article was an op ad in Al-Jazeera.net, English web site.

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