Bush: Iraq Elections Must Happen On Schedule

President Bush has refused to back down on holding national elections in Iraq on January 30, 2005, as scheduled. According to news reports, the Chief rejected calls from some political parties for postponing the elections, saying, 'It's time for Iraqi citizens to go to the polls.'

Providing some perspective on the various parties' attempts to delay the vote, Omar at Iraq the Model writes:
Some of these parties cannot think beyond their partisan interests and it seems they want things to calm down in the so-called Sunni triangle so that more Sunnis participate in the elections. This seems like a reasonable demand, but the problem is that they do not seek that as much as they seek to strengthen their own individual and partisan positions.

The Iraqi National Congress also stands firm on the election date:
Delay in holding the elections will be a delay in the restoration of full sovereignty to Iraq. It will also be a delay of withdrawal of foreign troops. The INC upholds that the legitimacy of the Iraqi government is based on the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL), which clearly states in Art.2.b.2. that elections must be held no later than 31 January 2004. Moreover, Art. 3 of the TAL reconfirms the January election timetable by stipulating that “likewise, no amendment may be made that could abridge in any way the rights of the Iraqi people…; extend the transitional period beyond the timeframe cited in this Law; delay the holding of elections to a new assembly”. The TAL is also reinforced in United Nations Security Resolution 1546 that also refers to date for the elections which must be respected.

The sooner Iraqis get to take an active role in choosing their own future, the better. The elections should take place as scheduled.

(Besides which, I confess I am a little bit partial to the January 30 date: it's my birthday.)