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Iraq not ready for democracy yet: Report

June 07, 2003 23:54 IST


The political climate in Iraq is 'unfit for democracy', The Washington Times quoted an unnamed senior official in the United States-led provincial authority in Iraq as saying.

The remarks comes just weeks away from the drafting of a new Iraqi constitution.

"If you have a free and open democratic process in an undeveloped political climate like we have here, it will be dominated by the extremes of the Iraqi political figures," the official said, according to the report.

"If we had an electoral process now, it would be in a climate that would not be as secure as we would like. It would be in a climate where the media is far from properly developed, and no political party has a national framework except the outlawed Baath Party of Saddam Hussein," he said.

The paper, however, noted aspiring Iraqi political figures would like to see US troops and civilian overseers withdrawn as quickly as possible.

"We are concerned that the participants of the constitutional convention will be selected by the Americans, not the Iraqis themselves," the paper quoted Hamid Al-Bayati, a political adviser to the Iran-based Supreme Council of the Islamic Republic in Iraq.

"We would like to see the Iraqi administration selected by Iraqis, and we believe we have this mandate from the UN Security Council," he said.


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