An Iraqi government spokesman says the government is determined to hold elections on January 30 as scheduled -- despite demands by political parties that the poll be delayed at least six months because of ongoing violence.
Spokesman Thaer al-Naqeeb told reporters Saturday Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is not convinced that delaying the election would increase participation. There have been concerns that security fears would keep Iraqis away from the polls.
At least 15 political groups, most of which represent the Sunni and Kurdish minorities, asked the electoral commission Friday to delay the January poll.
But on Saturday, electoral commission chairman Abdel Hussein al-Hindawi said the commission alone could not delay the election. He said any delay would have to be discussed among various groups, including the Iraqi interim government, parliament and the United Nations.