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white house "will not influence outcome of iraqi election"

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  • greg
    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=544&ncid=693&e=1&u=/ap/20040926/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_influencing_iraq U.S. Won t Back Iraq Election Candidates Sun
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 26, 2004
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      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=544&ncid=693&e=1&u=/ap/20040926/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_influencing_iraq
      U.S. Won't Back Iraq Election Candidates

      Sun Sep 26,11:09 AM ET

      By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer

      CRAWFORD, Texas - The White House says it considered secretly backing
      pro-U.S. candidates in the upcoming Iraqi election, but decided
      against it even though the Bush administration suspects other nations
      are working to influence the voting.

      "There have been and will continue to be concerns about efforts by
      outsiders to influence the outcome of the Iraqi elections, including
      money flowing from Iran," White House spokesman Allen Abney said Sunday.

      "This raises concerns about whether there will be a level playing
      field for the Iraqi election. The situation has posed difficult
      dilemmas about what action, if any, the U.S. should take in response,"
      he said.

      "And in the final analysis, we have adopted a policy that we will not
      try to influence the outcome of the upcoming Iraqi election by
      covertly helping individual candidates for office."

      A senior administration official said that deciding whether to
      covertly support certain candidates in the election scheduled for
      January was a "hard call."

      The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the White
      House consulted lawmakers before deciding against the idea, which was
      first reported by Time.

      Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) told CNN's "Late
      Edition" that the United States has a history of "overtly" supporting
      candidates for office in governments that are making a transition to
      democracy.

      "I don't discuss covert programs, but I will say that we do have overt
      programs, and everybody knows about them," Powell said.

      "We will be providing assistance for capacity building in parties so
      that we can see a political system come alive, in both Iraq and
      Afghanistan, and we'll be doing it overtly," Powell said.
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