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AMS: Iraq election lacked legitimacy
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Sunday Feb 13th, 2005 11:30 PM
The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq has said the country's elections cannot be accepted as they were conducted while under occupation.
A spokesman for the influential Iraqi group, Muhammad Bashar al-Faydhi, told Aljazeera on Sunday: "We, from the beginning, have announced our position towards the election as a political process that does not meet the interests of Iraqis since it lacks legitimacy.

"It was carried in the absence of international supervision and under occupation. Only persons with vested interests were supervising the political process, a move that is not logically and scientifically accepted," al-Faydhi added.

Election officials announced the results earlier in the day, saying 47% of eligible voters took part in the 30 January vote.

But many Iraqis, most notably Sunni Arabs, did not vote due to security concerns or after boycotting the elections altogether.

Officials said only 2% of Sunni Arabs from al-Anbar province voted while only 29% from Salah al-Din province voted.

AMS officials said they will establish relations with the new government despite their belief that it lacks the authority to govern.

"For the sake of those people [who voted], we respect their choice, and will deal with the new government. Yet we know it lacks authority, does not diplomatically represent Iraq, and does not have the right or legitimacy to draw up a permanent constitution and enter in or ratify agreements," al-Faydhi said.