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5,000 candidates for Iraq polls
December 16, 2004 12:48 IST
A total of 83 separate candidate lists have been submitted to the independent electoral commission to register for the January 30 general election in Iraq, the commission said Wednesday, report agencies..
The deadline for submitting lists expired at 04:00 pm Wednesday, and Prime Minister Iyad Allawi was among more than 5,000 hopefuls to register for the landmark polls, says Xinhua.
The United Iraqi Alliance, an umbrella outfit comprising Shia Muslims, submitted a 228 candidate list endorsed by Iraq's top cleric, Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani.
The Kurd coalition, comprising the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan presented a list with 165 candidates.
The Islamic Party, Iraq's biggest Sunni Muslim party, tabled a complete list of 275 candidates despite an earlier call for a delay of the elections over security concern.
But the probability of a boycott by Sunnis still exists, particularly in areas where where anti-US sentiments are high.
The elections, the first after the US-led invasion last year, are aimed at forming a 275-seat national assembly, which is tasked to write a constitution.
As campaigning began officially Wednesday, deadly attacks continued throughout the country.
A bomb exploded in the Shiite Muslim holy city of Karbala, killing seven people. In Mazaraa, south of Baghdad, residents found bodies of murdered men and women.
In another attack, a roadside bomb killed three Iraqis in Moqdadia, northeast of Baquba, just one day after insurgents ambushed a convoy south of the capital Baghdad, killing four policemen, wounding 20 more while 13 others went missing.