Thursday, January 20, 2005

polling day

Security issues may threaten the January 30 Iraq election but preparations continue, regardless. Ballot boxes and voting screens worth millions of dollars are beginning to arrive in Baghdad.

The equipment will be sent to more than 5,000 polling stations across the country. The Iraqi government has allocated some 250 million dollars for the election inside Iraq and another 90 million dollars for the overseas vote. Tens of millions of dollars have also been pledged by the international community. American intelligence sources predict that the elected government will almost certainly ask the US to set a specific timetable for withdrawing its troops. This will put pressure on the Bush administration, which has declined to do this so far.