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International monitors to "observe" Iraq elections from Jordan safe haven

[JURIST] The International Mission for Iraqi Elections [official website] scheduled to monitor Sunday's elections in Iraq will not have any personnel at polling stations around Iraq itself due to security concerns. Instead, most IMIE observers will report on the election results from Amman, Jordan. Meanwhile the Iraqi electoral process is still very much in doubt as candidates have been unable to campaign, many voters seem ill-informed or downright fearful [IRIN report] and the locations of polling stations have not been disclosed due to the threat of violence. On Thursday, however, the Kurdish speaker of the Iraqi Transitional National Assembly said he expected at least 65 percent turnout for the elections, according to a report in the Baghdad-based Azzaman newspaper. That figure is substantially higher than other recent predictions; in his own Wednesday press conference [White House transcript] President Bush refused to predict a turnout level or indicate what level might constitute a successful poll. Read an IMIE press release on the upcoming vote. The UN has more on the Iraqi elections. London's Evening Standard has more.

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