Iraqi President: We May Not Hold Elections in January

From Holden:

Sounds like at least one of Iraq’s hand-picked interim leaders did not get Unka Karl’s script:

Iraq’s president said in an interview published yesterday that the Jan. 31 date for Iraqi elections is “not sacred” and the vote could be postponed if a lack of security threatens the fairness of balloting.

President Ghazi al-Yawer’s comments, made in an interview with the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, represent a departure from a major policy goal of both the U.S. and Iraqi governments. President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi have insisted the election will proceed as planned despite the growing security crisis.

[snip]

“If we see that elections held by that date without security or conditions favoring a fair and comprehensive vote and that that in turn will have a negative impact on our country, then we will not hesitate to change its date.”

Al-Yawer’s press office confirmed the remarks. While al- Yawer’s position is mostly ceremonial, his views are influential,as Iraq’s highest-ranking Sunni Muslim and a member of one of Iraq’s largest tribes.

[snip]

Al-Yawer said it’s vital that all areas be included.

“We will not abandon the rule of law or the need for the participation of all Iraqi cities in the elections,” he said.

Link.