JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: In Baghdad, our own Jennifer Eccleston sat down with Mr. Allawi for this exclusive interview.
JENNIFER ECCLESTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There have been widespread calls for another vote because of allegations of voter fraud. These are serious allegations. What proof do you have, and how do you fight perceptions out there that this is perhaps a case of sour grapes?
AYAD ALLAWI, FORMER IRAQI PRIME MINISTER: I really — you know, there were gross intimidations throughout the country, and especially in certain provinces in the south, and Baghdad, too, preceding the elections. There were assassinations.
We had numbers of people on my slate who had been killed, shot and killed, and supporters who have been killed. There were attempts to assassinate others, and they were badly injured.
All this, and then the day of the elections, before — the evening preceding the elections, our headquarters in Nasiriyah was burned down.
The number one heading the list in Nasiriyah was a clerical person, was shot with RPGs, his home riddled with bombs and mortars.
The Iraqi communist party headquarters, who are our partners also, was burned down in Nasiriyah and in Jiwaniyah (ph). And also — so, you know, there were many violations.
We have submitted these violations with the proof to the Electoral Commission, a copy to the U.N. and a copy to the ambassadors of the P5, the permanent five members, in Iraq. And we are waiting for the results.
ECCLESTON: Now you’d like to have another vote in some parts of the country, correct?
ALLAWI: In some parts, maybe, yes. Or, alternatively canceling some of the votes in certain areas. But to be realistic, to have a new vote throughout the country is quite difficult. And it can’t be done.
ECCLESTON: It has been ruled out?
ALLAWI: Well, practically — it’s not practical. But practically, I think there are certain areas that the whole thing needs to be either another vote or to be completely weared (ph) away and say that this is not counted in the whole.
I hope this is what they do. At least we deserve an official answer both from the government, as well as from the Electoral Commission. We have nothing as yet. No answer.
ECCLESTON: Do you think that there is — by installing these time frames, it is doing Iraq a disservice?
ALLAWI: I think there was a rush, yes. I think this should not have taken place.
I think this was probably — I don’t know what reasons for putting these and laying down this, but I recall very clearly I was not happy with these arrangements. I made my views clear that this is too much to do in Iraq, especially in a vacuum that had been created after liberation.
The problem, as we — you know, it’s not good always to say we have — we have to look ahead and what have happened, have happened. We have in certain times to stop and look and examine what is — are we really into democracy. Are we respecting this? Are we respecting the — what we fought Saddam for?
December 28, 2005
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