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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How the hell are they going to pull this off...

"Campaign season officially begins Wednesday, but candidates already are finding out that name recognition attracts assassins as well as potential voters.

"Gunmen killed three members of a Shiite Muslim political party last Wednesday night, the day after one of them announced his candidacy. On a busy Baghdad street where a car bomb recently exploded, rows of posters encouraging Iraqis to vote have been ripped down or splattered with black paint.

"The countdown to the vote Jan. 30 is expected to bring more assaults on candidates and election workers. If police and national guardsmen wear masks to conceal their identities from attackers, many candidates asked, what hope is there for politicians, whose chances of winning depend on their ability to become well-known to the public?

"Some groups have been complaining that they haven't been able to prepare themselves or they would not be able to campaign properly in those (dangerous) areas," said Hussain al-Shahristani, a nuclear physicist who's part of a ticket made up of the dominant Shiite factions. "Logistically, it's not practical for them to go to the different villages and present themselves to the people."

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