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IRAQ - Dec 6 - Sistani- Sponsored Alliance Finalised For Election.

Representatives of senior Shiite theologian say they have finalised an electoral slate thought to include the country's main Shiite parties as well as former anti-government insurgents. Although the list has been in formation for more than a month, the announcement quells speculation that the country's most ambitious electoral alliance might break down over inter-party disputes as to how many seats each received. It also reduces concerns that the mercurial former rebel Muqtada Al Sadr, might change his decision to participate in the elections on January. Hussain Al Shahristani, list organiser, said that the United Iraqi Alliance would officially announce the names of its candidates tomorrow after submitting its application to the country's electoral commission. He said that the list, sponsored by Grand Ayat Ali Al Sistani, would include major parties, tribal leaders from across the country and leaders of religious and ethnic minorities including the Shiite Kurds, in addition to followers of Sadr. Other press reports have said that the National Democratic party of Nasir Al Chaderchi, a Sunni liberal, Ahmad Chalabi, the maverick Shiite politician, and the leader of the predominantly Sunni Al Shammar tribe would join Sistani's list. The list was announced the day after Ali Smeisim, a key deputy for Sadr, announced in the Iraqi press that the Shiite radical leader had definitively agreed to participate in the elections after talks with Sistani. Sadr had said after calling off an insurrection in August that his followers would participate in electoral politics. The formation of Sistani's lists was also reportedly plagued by last-minute disagreements, with one gathering of theologians, the Shiite Political Council, saying that it had pulled out of the alliance as the ayatollah had insisted on including too many "extremists" favouring direct theologianal rule. Other alliances that will participate in the elections include a pact put together by the two main Kurdish parties and the multi-ethnic "Iraqis" group headed by interim Pres Ghazi Al Yawer, a Sunni Arab tribal leader.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Dec 11, 2004
Previous Article:IRAQ - Dec 5 - 20 Killed As Violence Surges.
Next Article:IRAQ - Dec 9 - Muqtada Followers Omitted As Shiite Finalise Polls List.

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