Qazi Tries To Forestall Sunni Boycott

Qazi tries to Forestall Sunni Boycott of Elections

Az-Zaman: United Nations special envoy to Iraq, Ashraf Jahangir Qazi, held talks on Wednesday with Shaikh Muhammad Bashar al-Faydi, a leader of the Association of Muslim Scholars. They discussed the AMS attitude toward the January elections as well as the situation in Fallujah, which continues to be bombed by the United States. Qazi said that the UN was willing to take a more active negotiating role in Iraq if it might avert a Sunni Arab boycott of the elections. (A Sunni boycott might produce a parliament that was 80% Shiite and 15% Kurdish, leaving the Sunni Arabs out altogether, even though they form 15 percent of the population and are the wealthiest and best educated Iraqis. This result would be a huge disaster, since the parliament would then write the constitution and the Sunni Arabs would not be represented in the process.) So far, AMS is urging a boycott, in contrast to the Iraqi Islamic Party, which wants Sunnis to come out in force.

It is a shame that Qazi has to play this role, with the Americans having no better policy toward the Sunni Arabs than to bomb the bejesus out of them. Why isn’t Colin Powell talking to al-Faydi?

The US bombed Fallujah again on Wednesday, killing 3 persons.

President Ghazi al-Yawir (a Sunni) received a delegation from (Shiite) Karbala on Wednesday. He said a way must be found for Iraqis to prevent a US attack on Fallujah and other Iraqi cities.