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Iraq's Sunni alliance threatens to withdraw from elections
www.chinaview.cn 2005-01-13 06:01:23

    BAGHDAD, Jan. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- A Sunni tribal coalition said Wednesday it would withdraw from Iraq's landmark elections due on Jan. 30 unless it is postponed until security improves. The Patriotic Front for Iraqi Tribes said the announcement was also in protest against the US detention of the alliance's leader. Hassan Zeidan Khalaf al-Lihebi, a former general serving in Saddam Hussein's army but having retired before the US-ledinvasion, was detained by the American forces last week. The US army had no comment on the capture.

    Hassan's alliance, established last summer to run in the parliamentary elections, grouped more than 40 Sunni tribes and would probably enjoy the support of 3 million voters if it goes on with the upcoming elections.

    The alliance is the latest major Sunni group that challenges the Iraqi authority which had pinned its hope on a nationwide voting to take place as scheduled.

    Iraqi Islamic Party, the biggest Sunni party, had earlier announced its withdrawal, saying the deteriorating situation prevents voters from voting and even getting full knowledge of the candidates.

    The Islamic Scholars Association, another influential religious body in the Sunni community, has called for a general boycott of the elections. Enditem

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