U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rusmfeld has said Iraq’s scheduled January elections might not take place in areas of that country where violence remains rampant. Rumsfeld told a U.S. Senate committee yesterday that the elections might only extend to 75 to 80 percent of Iraq due to heavy violence in the rest of the country. But he said such an election, while imperfect, would still be better than nothing.
The No. 2 official at the State Department said Friday that the elections planned for January in Iraq must be “open to all citizens,” contradicting Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who has suggested that voting might not be possible in the more-violent areas.
“We’re going to have an election that is free and open and that has to be open to all citizens. It’s got to be our best effort to get it into troubled areas as well,” Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told a House committee Friday, after being asked about Rumsfeld’s words.