Things are beginning to get nasty here; today Allawi was forced to leave the Shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf when an angry mob started chanting slogans against him and his list. Reports say he and his company were bombarded with stones and shoes which forced Allawi to rush out of the place.
Allawi described the incident as an assassination attempt carried out by “60 men wearing black clothes and armed with knives, swords and pistols”.
Anyway, the incident doesn’t exactly look like an assassination attempt.
The angry mob was most likely made of supporters of Sadr or the SCIRI (the UIA in general) since they consider Allawi the first threat to them in the elections.
And anyway, they wouldn’t dare kill Allawi; I think they only wanted to stop him from campaigning in a city they consider their home.
The UIA has begun (again) to use pictures of Ayatollah Sistani in their campaign posters and signs.
This is happening despite the fact that Sistani hasn’t clearly voiced his endorsement of the UIA but leaking statements from his office are hinting at this.
This development is creating more worries among other parties who are feeling that voters are wrongfully being stolen from them and redirected to the UIA.
Several candidates from such parties appeared on TV and condemned the acts of the UIA and demanded a clarification from the top cleric.
The association of Muslim Scholars said that they sense the government is walking away from the commitments and agreements that were made in the Cairo conference in reference to the latest security operations carried out in Anbar province.
Of course this is an allegation as illegitimate as usual since the “resistance” never seemed to be slowing their attacks, neither against Iraqis nor against the multinational troops.
It’s getting visible by the day that the Sadrists have infiltrated several lists and planted many of their men in different lists and got them good positions in these lists, i.e. these lists were fooled by the Sadrists who promised each one of them that the list would be endorsed by Sadr, a promise that apparently made the leaders of these lists drool at the votes that Sadr’s name can win for them because they saw how Sadrists won nearly 20 seats in the National Assembly in the January elections.
Yesterday, al-Hurra TV organized the first televised debate among leaders and representatives of 6 the major political parties and alliances, including Mithal al-Alusi, Laith Kubba (heads of their own lists) and judge Wa'il Abdul-latif from Allawi's list in addition to thre other gentlemen who spoke for the UIA, Accord Front and INA. This is something totally new to Iraqi audience and it was really interesting to watch this several hour long debate as it allowed voters to know more about what the different candidates think about several important issues.
What enriched the discussion was the participation of a number of civil society activists and well known journalists including the editor in chief of al-Sabah.
I'm done for now...