Monday, December 13, 2004

Let's Talk About The Iraqi Elections

Source: The BBC

The photo says it all, "Vote For Iraq's Future. Participation of women in the elections is a representation of democracy and equality."

I tried to compile as much information as I could find online about the upcoming Iraqi elections.

The best report I found was written by Walter Pincus and Anthony Shadid for the Washington Post. It's a must-read report to understand the election process. In short, the upcoming elections are about choosing people to write the new Iraqi constitution.

As you probably know by now, the leading Shia groups formed an alliance to run in the upcoming elections. I'm actually not against forming political alliances. We have this process in Australia too. Years ago, the Libral and National parties formed an alliance. They run under the Libral-National Coalition.

Problems surfaced after the Shia groups joined together. Gazi Al-Yawar, the Iraqi president, warned Iran and Syria to stop interfering in Iraq's interior affairs. He warned both countries stop helping terrorists cross the borders into Iraq. His other warning is elections-related. He has accused Iran of trying to influence the Iraqi vote.

I'm positive the first allegation is true. Anyone with a brain can figure it. But, I'm not too sure about the second allegation. All I can say is that I don't trust the Iranian government. But, I believe the Iraqi people are smart enough to choose the right people in the upcoming elections. Well, at least I hope I'm right.

While we're talking about alliances, I've noticed the Christian minority has a decent number of political entities on the list I translated a few weeks ago. That's good. It would be better if we could form an alliance to ensure we get enough seats. With the current Iraqi Christian minority situation, it's the only way we can protect our rights in the new Iraqi constitution. This also applies to the political entities led by women.

Elaf reported [Arabic report] that elections will also be held in 14 countries outside Iraq to give a chance to the Iraqi expats to participate in the elections. Eight-hundred-thousand eligible Iraqi expats are expected to vote in the upcoming elections. I believe this number can make a difference.

Lastly, I have my own opinion about the elections. I don't think the first election will be perfect. There is no such thing as perfect elections in the whole world. In every country, election results make one group happy and another group unhappy. What makes the difference is how many people believe their vote makes a difference. This is why they go and vote. I hope Iraqis understand this fact.

Post Links:
Iraq Faces Hurdles On Details Of Election
Shiite Groups Unite to Run in Iraq Elections Next Month
Iraqi Elections - Update I - Revision IV
الانتخابات العراقية ستجري في 14 دولة


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