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Interview: Nasir Chadirchi Talks To Radio Free Iraq

RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) interviewed former Iraqi Governing Council member Nasir Chadirchi on 8 January in Baghdad. Chadirchi has demanded that the 30 January parliamentary elections be postponed, but has registered 48 candidates from his Democratic Patriotic Party on the ballot.

RFI: Chadirchi explained that postponing the elections would be justified by several reasons.

Chadirchi: We are among the first parties, or the first party ever, to have raised this demand. We have been, until now, very strongly demanding that the elections be postponed, and we will continue demanding so until the last day before the elections. It is a legitimate demand. We believe that these elections, if they take place, will not fulfill the ambitions of the Iraqi people. They will only raise the antipathy and will not strengthen the Iraqi unity, [the unity] between all individuals of the Iraqi nation on which we insist. There are numerous security concerns, with the officials admitting that they are not able to manage the security situation, or the lack of security.

I say that any observer who comes to Iraq will see that the lists of candidates have not been announced by their [proper] names, that the [election-campaign] posters in Baghdad are very few, that there are very vast areas of Iraq where we cannot see any poster. Moreover, the polling stations have still not been selected, and it is being said that they will be announced some two or three days before the elections. I have called these elections, if they take place, semi-secret or secret [elections]. How could elections be done in this manner?
"Our program is a democratic program. It focuses on the issues that are related to human rights in all their aspects, on the freedom of thought, on pluralism and federalism."

RFI: Chadirchi has also asked Arab countries not to intervene in the affairs of Iraq.

Chadirchi: This [elections] is, I believe, an Iraqi affair. They [Arab states] have to not intervene in the [question of deciding the] term of the elections. There was clear American and British pressure on a number of states that had taken the stance, and had spoken about it, that the elections in Iraq would be impossible. After that, they changed their stance surprisingly and without any previous notification, demanding that the elections be conducted in the term that had been chosen for them. Moreover, even the United Nations was saying that the elections were impossible and that it would study this aspect -- but outside pressures influenced it [so that it changed its position].

RFI:Nasir Chadirchi also spoke about the political goals of the Democratic Patriotic Party.

Chadirchi:Our program is a democratic program. It focuses on the issues that are related to human rights in all their aspects, on the freedom of thought, on pluralism and federalism. These principles are the most important to us. There are also economic issues: that Iraqis have to be given the management of Iraqi natural resources, and that these have to be used completely for the benefits of Iraq, for building a new Iraq, and for building the infrastructure that was destroyed both during the [U.S.-led] war and before the war and damaged by the former regime that did not take care of it.

Translation by Petr Kubalek.