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10/4/04 - IRAQI ELECTION  - 2004-10-05

Insurgents in Iraq are continuing their campaign of attacking Iraqi and coalition forces. The situation in Iraq is temporarily getting worse, says U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, because the terrorists “do not want the Iraqi people to vote for their own leaders in a free, democratic election”:

“And because it’s getting worse, we will have to increase our efforts to defeat it, not walk away and pray and hope for something else to happen. These are individuals who are trying to take Iraq back to the past. And they must not be allowed to.”

Mr. Powell says that despite the violence, Iraqis are participating in a debate over the election process:

“What we’re seeing is a debate, a good political debate between various forces, political forces inside of Iraq, a debate that would have been inconceivable just eighteen months ago.... And the way to deal with this debate is to let all sides be heard and then Prime Minister [Iyad] Allawi, his cabinet and the Iraqi interim government working with the United Nations and with the international community, putting in place an election where all of these views are heard by the people and the people make the judgment as to how they wish to be led.”

“We are making progress in Iraq.... And this is all because of the determination of the Iraqi people,” says Prime Minister Allawi. “Democracy will prevail, the rule of law will prevail, [and] the issues and culture of human rights will prevail.”