Top Shiite cleric supports open voting in Iraq's national polls
www.chinaview.cn 2009-10-06 22:43:12   Print

    BAGHDAD, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's most revered Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said that he supports the open-list system in the upcoming January's general elections, otherwise the turnout will suffer negative impact if closed-list system adopted by the parliament, a Sistani spokesman said on Tuesday.

    "The religious Marjiyah (highest Shiite leadership) calls on the members of the Iraqi Representatives Council to live up to their responsibility and to respond positively to the desire of the majority of the Iraqi people in adopting the system of the open-list in the upcoming parliamentary elections," a spokesman of Sistani's office in the city of Najaf told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

    Citing a statement by Sistani, the spokesman warned that the adoption of the closed-list system will strongly limit the turnout in the coming elections which "will have negative impacts on the democratic process in Iraq."

    On Sunday, the Iraqi lawmakers started their discussions over the new draft law of elections that is expected to adopt a new system of the open-list, in which the names of candidates and their parties are listed, instead of the closed-list system which was adopted in 2005 elections.

    Sistani's spokesman also denied earlier media reports which said that Sistani had called to boycott the country's coming elections in case open-list system is not approved, describing the reports as "inaccurate."

    Following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 that toppled the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, Sistani appeared as a guiding force behind the Shiite leading alliance that formed the Iraqi government after the 2005 elections.

    Also on Tuesday, Nassar al-Rubaie, spokesman of the Sadrist bloc, loyal to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said in a news conference that his bloc will reject the adoption of closed-list system.

    "The Sadrist bloc vehemently rejects the closed-list system and considers it a betrayal to the Iraqi people," Rubaie said.

Editor: Yan
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