Monday, January 31, 2005

Hey, Just Like in America!

Capital Gang (CNN)

KATE O'BEIRNE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ambassador, what are the main issues that divide the leading slates of candidates running in Sunday's elections?

REND AL-RAHIM, IRAQI AMBASSADOR TO U.S.: These are truly contested, competitive elections and in any contested and competitive elections the political groups have different platforms and different outlooks.

All the groups are talking about the need for much greater security, in fact for greater security. They're all talking about strengthening the Iraqi forces. They all talk about reviving the economy, ending unemployment, kick-starting the trade and industry and so on and ending terrorism. All the political entities have the same platform as far as this goes.

It's very difficult to see differences in the declared platforms; however, I think there are generally the following differences. For example, some groups, some political parties have a more secular outlook and there are others that have a more religious orientation. There are some that have a more sort of Iraq-centered outlook. Others have a more Arab outlook.

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