KINGSTON: "SUCCESSFUL ELECTIONS IN IRAQ WILL BE ANOTHER SIGN OF PROGRESS"
Joins In "Iraqi Freedom Solidarity Day" To Show Support For Democratic Elections, Troops
Washington, Dec 14 -
Today, U.S. Representative Jack Kingston (R-Savannah), the vice-chairman of the House Republican Conference, joined his colleagues on the eve of Iraq's parliamentary elections in Washington to help honor the achievements of the Iraqi people and U.S. troops abroad. During the event, Congressman Kingston delivered the following remarks:
"I represent the first district of Georgia which has five military bases including the Army's 3rd Infantry Division. I have over 20,000 constituents in Iraq right now. And the 3rd ID was the original group that went up the Euphrates River in 2003. Indeed they have led our troops in many amazing military victories, but tomorrow is probably the most significant victory and chapter in the liberation of Iraq because tomorrow will be a huge political victory for the people of Iraq.
"Tomorrow the people of Iraq will democratically elect the four-year, permanent government of Iraq. And when I was in Iraq just two weeks ago with a bipartisan delegation consisting of three Democrats and three Republicans, we were told that 228 different political parties were offering candidates for the 275-seats of parliament, but today the number of political parties is well over 300! The bottom line is that candidates are participating in the process and that's good news.
"Tomorrow's elections will begin the end of the military phase of our involvement with Iraq and will begin the political stage, permanently. We are very proud of what's going on in Iraq and this will be a great accomplishment for the people of Iraq, the United States, and all of the Coalition Forces."
Political Progress: Iraq's Historic December 15th Election:
-More than 15 million Iraqis are eligible to vote in the elections.
-There are over 7,000 individual candidates listed on the Political Entity and coalition lists.
-More than 300 Political Entities and 19 coalitions are certified to compete in the elections.
Economic Progress: Iraq's Economy Is Growing:
Iraq's stock market - established in April 2004 - lists nearly 90 companies with an average daily trading volume of more than $100 million.
Security Progress: Iraqi Forces Are Growing In Size And Capability:
-225,000 Iraqi soldiers and police will provide security for Iraq's Dec. 15th election, a significant increase from the 130,000 soldiers and police who provided security for the Jan. 30 election.
Congressman Kingston has traveled to Iraq twice over the past few years, most recently November 27-30. While in-country, he traveled to Baghdad where the Army's 3rd Infantry Division of Fort Stewart is responsible for the security of Iraq's capital city. While there, he spent time talking with the troops and generals on the ground and he was pleased to see that the troop morale was "sky high" and that they were well fed and well equipped.