UNITED NATIONS – Iraq's interim prime minister insisted Friday that elections will be held by January and "all eligible Iraqis will be able to vote" as he urged the international community to set aside differences over the war and help build a stable democracy.
Ayad Allawi's (search) remarks came as top U.S. officials disagreed on key details of the vote.
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage (search) told Congress the elections must be held throughout the country, including areas gripped by violence. That contradicted Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (search), who said Thursday and again Friday that if insurgents prevent Iraqis from voting in some areas, a partial vote would be better than none.
Allawi, speaking to reporters after addressing the U.N. General Assembly (search), said there would be "no partial elections" and "every eligible Iraqi will be able to vote."
When asked about the different positions of the U.S. officials, he said, "This is hypothetical, we are talking about an election in January. We are now still in September ... by January I would hope that everything is settled."
Doubts about the vote's timing were raised amid an upsurge in the amount of daily violence in Iraq and the inability of U.S.-led forces to secure volatile portions of the country that are wholly or partly controlled by insurgents, such as Fallujah.
Allawi also called on world leaders gathered for the General Assembly's two-week ministerial meeting to do more to help his country fight terrorism.
"Do not be neutral in this struggle. Do not remain idle, but join us for our sake and for your own sake," he said.