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Iraqi Government 'Determined' To Hold January Election As Scheduled - 2004-11-28


An Iraqi government spokesman says the government is determined to hold elections on January 30 as scheduled -- despite demands that the poll be delayed at least six months because of ongoing violence.

Spokesman Thaer al-Naqeeb told reporters Saturday Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is not convinced that delaying the election would increase participation. There have been concerns that security fears would keep Iraqis away from the polls.

Members of Iraq's dominant Shi'a community have also rejected calls for a delay.

At least 15 political groups, most of which represent the Sunni and Kurdish minorities, asked the electoral commission Friday to delay the January poll.

Separately, U.S. and Iraqi forces say they have arrested at least nine suspected Iraqi insurgents in the town of Latifiya, south of Baghdad.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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