white house "will not influence outcome of iraqi election"
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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,"
"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
"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.