Islamic Party Neither Us Nor Igc Suited

The Islamic Party: Neither US nor IGC Suited to Organizing General Elections

Az-Zaman reports that the Iraqi Islamic Party (the Iraqi branch of the Sunni fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood) has expressed support for the Nov. 15 agreement between the US and the Interim Governing Council, saying that elections based on provincial councils would produce a government capable of restoring Iraqi sovereignty. Party leader Muhsin Abdul Hamid, a member of the Interim Governing Council, argues that the IGC and the Americans are incapable at this point of presiding over direct elections.

Abdul Hamid rejected the idea that has been floated by Ahmad Chalabi and others, of simply expanding the IGC by appointment and turning the governance of the country over to it. He rejected any method of selecting the new government that did not depend on some sort of elections such as would reflect the will of the Iraqis. The party stated its complete faith in the principle of direct elections so as to produce a new legitimacy in Iraqi politics, but seems willing to wait until 2005 to hold these direct elections.

Abdul Hamid, as a fundamentalist Sunni, appears to fear that direct and open elections held in May might produce a government dominated by Shiite hard liners.

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