Iraqi Vote Results in Sweden; Kidnappers Make Demands for release of Iraqi-Swede

While the results of the recent Iraqi parliamentary elections show that within that country the Shiite majority won 48 percent of the vote, followed by the Kurds with 25 percent, a different picture has emerged here in Sweden. 

Roughly 95 percent of registered Iraqi ex-pats voted in the elections, with the Kurds taking nearly 55 percent of the vote and the Shiite’s taking just 19 percent.  The vast difference can be attributed in part to the large exiled Kurdish community in the Nordic region.

In other news from Iraq: 

A militant group that has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of an Iraqi-Swede has called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in return for his release.  The family of the man, who heads up Iraq’s Christian Democratic Party, was contacted by him during the weekend. He relayed the kidnappers  demands, which include the withdrawal of U.S. troops, to be replaced by the United Nations and that they want Sweden’s King Carl Gustav to take part in negotiations for the man’s release. The kidnappers also demanded a ransom and threatened to decapitate the man if the CIA, Interpol or any other organization was contacted.  He and his family have lived in Sweden since 1984 and he holds dual Swedish-Iraqi citizenship.  The Swedish Foreign Ministry in Amman is looking into the matter.