이라크 선거 위원회는지난달 15일에 실시된 총선거 부정의혹에 관한 조사결과를 다음주에 발표합니다. 그러나 이라크 선거위원회와 국제 검증단의 최종적인 선거결과가 나오려면 몇주가 더 걸릴지도 모릅니다.
수니파 회교도들의 총선거 참여로, 이라크내 긴장이 완화될지 모른다던 희망과는 달리, 지난 2주동안 이라크내 폭력사태는 더욱 증가했습니다. 이라크 인구의 20퍼센트에 불과하지만, 사담 후세인 정권당시 권력을 누렸었던 수니파 회교도는, 지난해 1차 총선거와 제헌의회 선거에는 대부분 불참했으나, 12월의 총선거에는 대거 참여했습니다.
그러나 조기 집계결과, 통합 이라크 연맹 - UIA으로 대표되는 시아파가 의회 다수당을 차지할 것으로 나타나자, 수니파 지도자들은 분노의 반응을 보였습니다. 일부 수니파 회교도들은 세속 시아파 정당들과 함께, UIA와 또다른 승리자인 쿠르드 연맹이 선거를 조작했다고 주장하고 있습니다. 일부 수니파는 또한, 재투표를 허용하지 않는다면, 폭력행위를 자행하겠다고 위협했습니다.
그러나 최대 수니파 연합인 이라크 화합전선은 잠정 투표결과에 항의하지 않았으며, 이라크 주요 정당대표들과 일련의 회담을 가진 뒤, 이라크에 새로 들어설 정부는, 수니파와 시아파, 쿠르드 족의 연합정부가 될 것이라고 다짐했습니다. 그러나 이같은 합의가 긴장을 누그러뜨리진 못했습니다. 후세인 샤라스타니 씨와 같은 일부 UIA 당원들은, 수니파 정치인들이 선거결과에 영향을 미치기위해 폭력을 조장하고 있다고 말했습니다.
폭력을 이용해 선거결과를 바꾸겠다는 일부 정치단체들의 위협은 수용할 수 없는 것이며, UIA는 정부가 이라크인들을 테러위협과 공격에서 보호하지 못한다면, 잠자코 있지 않을 것이라고, 샤라스타니 씨는 말했습니다.
UIA 지도자인 압둘 아지즈 알 하킴 씨는, 앞서 이번주 미국 CNN 방송과의 회견에서, 인권침해에 대한 미군의 우려가 이라크의 테러주의자 소탕노력에 방해가 되고 있다고 말했습니다. 미군 대변인인 도날드 올스톤 장군은, 이같은 주장은 사실이 아니라고 말하면서, 이라크 새 국회가 구성될 때까지,이라크 정치상황을 불안정하게 만들려는 시도가 있을지 모른다고 말했습니다.
이라크 새 의회는 첫 회기때 대통령 위원회를 선정하고, 총리와 내각을 선출하게 됩니다. 분석가들은, 시아파와 쿠르드족이 회교 수니파와 협력하지 않는다면, 이라크내 긴장과 폭력이 증가할 것이라고 경고하고 있습니다.
The Iraqi Electoral Commission is expected next week to announce results of an investigations into reported voting irregularities in Iraq's December 15th national election. But it may take several more weeks before the commission and an international certifying organization announce final results of the vote. Ben Gilbert reports for VOA from Baghdad Iraqi political leaders are already making demands and threats, and U.S. military officials warn that violence could escalate.
TEXT: Despite hopes that Sunni Muslim participation in the Iraqi elections would reduce tension in Iraq, violence has increased over the past two weeks. Most Sunnis, who make up about 20 percent of the population in Iraq but held power under Saddam Hussein's regime, sat out last year's first parliamentary election and the constitutional referendum.
But after participating widely in last month's parliamentary election, many Sunni leaders were angry when preliminary results showed the Shi'ite majority, largely represented by the Islamist United Iraqi Alliance, would dominate the country's parliament. Preliminary results show the U.I.A. won about 130 of the 275 seats in parliament. Some Sunnis, along with secular Shi'ite parties, accused the U.I.A. and the other big winner, the Kurds, of fixing the election. Some of the Sunni protesters even threatened violence if the vote was not repeated.
However, the largest Sunni coalition, the Iraqi Accordance Front, did not protest and after a series of meetings among representatives of Iraq's major parties, pledged the next government would be a "unity" government of Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds. But the agreement did not end the tensions. Some members of the UIA, like Hussein Sharastani, accused some Sunni politicians of encouraging violence to influence the election results.
"The threats by some political groups to use violence to change these results is totally unacceptable, and the U.I.A. is not going to keep quiet if the government fails to protect the population against terrorist threats and attacks."
Sunni protests and threats largely subsided after the Iraqi Election Commission announced that international experts would come to Baghdad to review the results. However, one threat still remains. The U.I.A., has warned if the U.S, military continues to restrain the Shi'ite-controlled Ministry of the Interior from going after "terrorists," the people, in its words, "would have a right to defend themselves." This raises the specter of Shi'ite militias unleashing sectarian violence. U.I.A. leader Abdul Aziz Al Hakim, told CNN earlier this week the U.S. military's concern about human rights violations is hindering Iraqi efforts to fight terrorists.
A U.S. military spokesman, General Donald Allston, says he does not believe Iraqi forces were being held back from going after insurgents.
"I would tell you that I do not see any additional procedures that have been employed -- or I should say additional restrictions or additional requirements that have been levied upon any of the Iraqi Security Forces that would tie their hands. We do have procedures that we coordinate operations with each other. We give visibility in advance to each other when we're conducting operations. Those things haven't changed and (we) do not see any of the violence that we had last week as a consequence of a relationship with either the Ministry of the Interior or the Ministry of Defense."
Other American officials warn that allowing the Iraqi security forces complete freedom to fight the insurgency without U.S. oversight could endanger the delicate political balance that for now has many Sunnis involved in the political process. The U.S. embassy's political counselor in Baghdad, Robert Ford, emphasized that Shi'ites need to suppress their urge to retaliate for the violence against them. The goal of the insurgents, he said, is to get Shi'ites to fight Sunnis.
"If the goal is to stir up additional civil strife, it is important for all Iraqis to recognize the game, and to unite together to fight it."
General Allston says until the new parliament is seated, there may well be more attempts to destabilize the political situation in the country.
"As the newly elected government of Iraq comes together, those committed to seeing democracy fail will see this time of transition as an opportunity to attack the innocent people of Iraq and attempt to discredit and derail the progress of the Iraqi people."
During its first session, the new parliament will select a presidential council, then a prime minster and his cabinet. Analysts warn that, if the Shi'ites and Kurds do not try to accommodate the Sunnis, the tension and violence in Iraq is likely to increase. (SIGNED)