Abdulaziz al-Hakeem's UIA, big winners in the last round of elections, seem to be nervous. They are already warning of possible voter fraud, which sounds like they are laying the groundwork for a post-election court challenge.
By contrast, Allawi is sounding confident, despite well-publicized recent protests against him.
It is noticed that so far, Allawi is the only candidate who is leading a professional campaign, and I mean really professional; the TV ads, the posters and the signs are very well produced and the words are carefully chosen and they’re attracting good attention among the people here. [Baghdad]The Islamic Party, part of the National Accord Front, is also sounding worried, claiming that the imposition of martial law in some areas will bias the vote.
Finally, and most interesting, Major Shiite clerics, led by Ayatollah Sistani, have made it quite clear that they are not endorsing any electoral slate. They denounced rumors to the contrary.
Read it here.
All in all it doesn't sound that much different from the rhetorical posturing that takes place in the runup to our elections here..., except for the gunfire of course.
And there's a lot of that. "A Citizen of Mosul" reports on the pre-election crackdown there.
The situation in the city of Mosul is very stressful. The US convoys wandering through out the city day and night. The police cars full of policemen holding gun aiming at the pedestrians and firing their guns at any car which fail to stop or approaching the convoy.Read it here.
From the other side there were explosions every where, masked gunmen attacking the US soldiers and the Iraqi police. The roads are blocked by either a concrete blocks or barbed wires making the moving in the city streets very difficult and dangerous.
In Mosul there are five bridges across the river Tigris joining the two sides of the city together, during the last few days, all the bridges are either blocked completely or there were a check points at the beginning of the bridges to search all the cars which attempt to cross the bridge. This make the movement across the bridge very very difficult.
Four more days to go..., stay tuned.