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Idea of Staggering Iraq Voting Gains Support

There appears to be growing support for a suggestion that voting in Iraq's election, now scheduled for January 30, be spread over a two to three-week period.

In Baghdad Wednesday, the Interior Ministry said staggered voting would facilitate the work of international observers and guarantee the participation of all Iraqis. Ministry officials also said it would allow for adequate security to be provided to voters and candidates.

The final decision lies with the independent Electoral Commission, not the government.

In Washington, the State Department said the details of the election are up to the Iraqis to decide, but the United States is currently operating under the assumption that elections will be held nationwide on January 30.