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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 December 2005, 11:08 GMT
Press upbeat on Iraqi poll
An Iraqi woman casts her ballot at an election centre in Baghdad
The region is watching developments in Iraq with interest

Many newspapers across the Middle East are optimistic about Thursday's elections in Iraq, with one calling the poll "historic".

Some also highlight with approval the expected participation of Iraq's Sunnis.

But there are also more sombre tones, with one Turkish commentator lamenting that he can foresee only further disintegration in the country.

OMAN'S OMAN

It is not an exaggeration to say that today is a historic day for the brotherly Iraqi people... We sincerely hope that all Iraqis will take part with enthusiasm and without hesitation in today's elections for the sake of a better Iraq, and more importantly to preserve the territorial integrity of Iraq and the unity of its people and society.

KUWAIT'S AL-RA'Y AL-AM

These elections are distinguished from the previous ones by the desire of the Iraqis to take part in the election process, particularly the Sunni Arabs who boycotted the previous elections. It seems that the Sunni Arabs have finally been convinced that the best solution for Iraq's future is a political one and that their boycotting of the political process will be useless and will achieve no privileges for them other than more marginalisation.

CUNEYT ULSEVER IN TURKEY'S HURRIYET

The elections in Iraq will determine the destiny not only of Iraq but also of the Middle East and Turkey. I wish I were mistaken but I do not expect any result that will guarantee the integrity of Iraq. Since the referendum on the constitution, Iraq has entered a process of disintegration - maybe not legally but actually. All calculations are being made on making a move the day after the US leaves the country.

PAN-ARAB AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

Iraq will not turn into an oasis of calm and stability after these elections. The security situation is unlikely to improve. On the contrary, the situation may become more inflamed... The more significant positive outcome of these elections is that they will provide the US Administration with the pretext to implement its strategy of pulling out.

UAE'S AL-ITTIHAD

If the democratic test in Iraq today is difficult, important and effective, then rallying around the new parliament, respecting the results and unifying the will to begin a new phase to restore the true and strong Iraq is the measure, perhaps the only one, for the success of this difficult option.

SATI NUR-AL-DIN IN LEBANON'S AL-SAFIR

With the exception of the Lebanese who continue to walk in their funeral processions and to fragment, the whole world is looking today to Iraq... On the basis of the American view, which may be right, the success of the Iraqi political experiment is bound to provide a model to be emulated in Syria and in the various countries neighbouring Iraq.

SAUDI AL-WATAN

While the world is watching the legislative elections in Iraq today... it is obvious that the governments of the region, the countries interested in the democratic experiment in Iraq and the present guardianship states are deeply concerned about the emergence of a religious state in Iraq.

IRAN'S IRAN

A high turnout in the election won't be welcomed by the occupiers and dependent forces in Iraq. From the view point of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a secure, stable, and independent Iraq that is backed by the votes of the people can secure the region and fulfil the Iraqis' national interests.

MUSIB AL-NU'AYMI IN IRAN'S AL-VEFAGH

The election process in Iraq has started to pave the way for a new phase which is free of dictatorship, repressions and displacement... The election results are settled by the voices of the silent majority which does not accept guardianship over its votes. This majority will be the one which decides Iraq's destiny without the need for support from those outside Iraq's borders.

MAZIN HAMMAD IN JORDAN'S AL-DUSTUR

The Iraqi elections are not important per se, but what is important is what they will lead to. Even the change in the collective position of the Sunni Arabs, who will participate intensely in today's elections, will have little effect on the coming political map. However, all this does not mean that the Sunni Arabs should boycott the elections, because they have belatedly discovered that the damage resulting from non-participation is greater than that which comes from participation.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.




SEE ALSO:
Iraqi polls open in landmark vote
15 Dec 05 |  Middle East


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