이라크의 이브라힘 알 자파리 총리는, 미국과 영국의 강한 이의 제기에도 불구하고, 이라크 차기 정부를 이끌기 위한 후보자격을 포기하려 하지 않고 있습니다.

자파리 총리는 영국 가디언 지와의 대담에서, 다수세력인 시아파 의원들에 의한 지명은 반드시 밟아야 하는 민주적 과정이라고 말했습니다. 자파리 총리의 후보 자격은 총선거 실시후 근 넉달간 끌어온 이라크 거국정부 구성을 위한 작업의 진전을 가로막고 있는 주요 장애요인의 하나입니다.

한편 미국 중서부 위스콘신주내 24개 시와 군, 마을 유권자들은 이라크주둔 미군의 즉각 철수를 촉구하는 상징적 결의안을 통과시켰습니다. 이번 주민투표는 순수하게 상징적 조치로 부쉬 행정부에 대한 구속력이 없습니다.

철수 지지자들은 이번 투표를 승리로 환호하고 있으나 반대측은 이번 주민 투표가 이라크 주둔 미군의 사기를 저하시킬 수 있다고 우려하고 있습니다.

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Iraq's embattled Prime Minister Ibarhim al-Jaafari is refusing to give up his candidacy to lead the country's next government, despite strong appeals from the United States and Britain.

Mr. Jaafari tells Britain's Guardian newspaper that his nomination by majority Shi'ite legislators was a "democratic process" that must be followed.

But he has so far failed to win the support of minority political groups in his efforts to form a government, and was also losing support within his own Shi'ite bloc (the United Iraqi Alliance).

Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi said in a radio interview (on BBC's Hard Talk program) that he thinks it is time for the prime minister to step aside since others are not supporting him.

Mr. Jaafari's candidacy is one of the main sticking points that has deadlocked efforts to form a national unity government in Iraq nearly four months after parliamentary elections.Voters in 24 cities, towns and villages in the state of Wisconsin have approved symbolic measures calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

The issue attracted thousands of voters across the midwestern state on Tuesday. The referendum passed overwhelmingly in the capital city of Madison, which has a strong liberal and Democratic population.

But the measure was soundly defeated in other places such as Watertown, a conservative stronghold which voted overwhelmingly for President Bush in the 2004 election.

The withdrawal referendums were purely symbolic and non-binding on the Bush administration.

Advocates of a withdrawal hailed the vote as a victory. But a group that opposed the measure said the referendums could hurt the morale of U.S. orces in Iraq.