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Obama: Restore Full Voting Rights to Florida, Michigan Delegates


U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says the states of Florida and Michigan should have full voting rights at his party's national convention later this month.

The Democratic party initially stripped Florida and Michigan of all voting rights because they held presidential primaries in January, earlier than party rules permitted. Senator Obama's former rival, Senator Hillary Clinton, went on to beat him in both contests.

Obama asked the Democratic credentials committee Sunday to restore full votes to delegates from Florida and Michigan for the sake of party unity. He also backed the national party's efforts to enforce its primary calendar on the states.

Earlier this year, Obama fought to punish both states and curtail Clinton's challenge for the Democratic nomination. Obama eventually secured an unassailable lead in party delegates, forcing Clinton to drop out of the race in June.

A Democratic committee granted half-votes to Florida and Michigan delegates in May in response to Clinton's appeals for her victories in both states to count. The committee will meet again on August 24 to consider Obama's latest request.

The Democratic national convention begins August 25 in Denver, Colorado.

Obama's name was not on the ballot for the Michigan primary, and neither candidate campaigned in Florida.

In another development, the mother of American celebrity model Paris Hilton has criticized a Republican television ad that mocks Obama by comparing his popularity to that of her daughter.

Kathy Hilton called the ad frivolous and accused Republican presidential candidate John McCain's campaign of wasting people's time and money. Kathy Hilton and her husband Rick have donated $4,600 to the McCain campaign.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.


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