Sistani Reaffirms demand for Elections by end of Year
The NYT reports that Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has again said the UN needs to set a date certain for direct elections in Iraq, which Kofi Annan said could plausibly be held in December or January if preparations begin being made now. He clearly wants those preparations to start, and he wants an international guarantee of a date certain. He also reaffirmed what he has said before, which is that the caretaker transitional government that will hold sovereignty from June 30 until the elections should be very limited in its powers and decisions, since it will lack the legitimacy that comes from being popularly elected. What is new here is only that Sistani seems to be saying that his earlier deadline of October 1 for elections could slip to December or January, but no later.