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UPDATED: 13:19, November 05, 2004
US to help Iraq hold national elections next year
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The United States will remain its commitment to help Iraq hold national elections scheduled for January next year, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher saidhere Thursday.

"It is still our firm view... that this commitment to have elections in January is a very important one and that we all need to do everything possible," Boucher told a news briefing.

"It is also a commitment that the election needs to be open to every citizen of Iraq to participate in," he said, adding that as the Iraqi election commission goes forward, there's 13 to 14 million people on the voter rolls.

The US government has pledged time again to support the forthcoming Iraq's elections since Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi vowed in September "to stick to the timetable of the elections" at the UN General Assembly session in New York.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who claimed the planned Iraqi elections as "feasible", noted that "We intend for electionsto be held, but more importantly, the interim government and PrimeMinister Allawi intends for elections to be held."

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has warned that there could notbe "credible" elections if security situation in Iraq remains tense.

Source: Xinhua

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