Important Iraqi vote
As part of the process of holding elections (due in January 2005), an Iraqi National Council comprising 100 Iraqis from various tribal, ethnic, religious and political groups was setup in August to oversee the elections and help make preparations for them. Earlier this month this National Council held an election for the top positions in this body. The delegate from the Supreme Assembly for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq came in first with 56 votes. This is a Shiite group that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld lambasted as a tool of Iran during the US-led invasion of Iraq. Another Iraqi even less attractive to Washington, the Secretary General of the Iraqi Communist Party, Hamid Majid Moussa, came in second with 55 votes. The delegate from the Iraqi National Accord — the group once backed by the CIA and whose leader, Iyad Allawi, was recently warmly greeted in Washington by President Bush, came in third with 53 votes. The delegate from the Iraqi Islamic Party, a Sunni group, sympathetic to the Ba'athist-based, anti-American resistance operating both west and north of Baghdad — came in fourth with 48 votes.
* * *Freelance journalist Frank Smyth who posted this information (http://www.franksmyth.com) writing for Foreign Policy in Focus comments that, "By any count, getting only one ally elected out of four seats on this potentially all-important electoral oversight body does not bode well for the Bush administration".