Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has again stressed that the country's elections must go ahead on January 30th, but he has indicated that polling might take place over 15 or 20 days.
In an interview with European newspapers on Tuesday, Mr. Allawi said he could envision a staggered election with voting on different dates in Iraq's 18 provinces.
Mr. Allawi met in Moscow Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said he cannot imagine how the country will be able hold elections under what he called its "occupation" by foreign troops.
The Iraqi interim leader is on a three-day visit to Russia. He said Moscow will be given a "leading role" in restoring Iraq's oil industry, largely because of its decision to erase most of Baghdad's pre-war debt.