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Some Iraqis have "no idea that elections are to be held in the country"

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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:18 AM
Original message
Some Iraqis have "no idea that elections are to be held in the country"
A non-"Hallmark card" perspective on the upcoming Iraq elections

From Al Ahram (Egypt)

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/726/re5.htm

The battle of posters
In Baghdad, Nermeen Al-Mufti asks Iraqis what they make of the forthcoming polls


<snip>

Violence continues to be the order of the day as the countdown to the polls began, observers anticipate that the lethality of the attacks is likely to reach its peak on elections day. Despite the worsening security situation, some Iraqi voters insist that they will turn up on the day.

While Al-Maliki is well aware of the risks which entails the voting process, he, nonetheless, is determined to cast his vote. "It's a question of luck. A small group of them can't target all the voting stations. I'm going because Al-Sayid Al-Sistani said that whoever doesn't vote is going to hell. If the station I'm voting at is attacked then, God willing, I'll die a martyr," Al-Maliki said.

Others, however, decided to be among Iraq's non-voters. "I have heard of Pachachi but I don't know the other names on his list," Adnan Omar, a university student said. Most of them, he continued, "have come from abroad and we don't know anything about them. So why should I give my life for someone I don't know, when I know that things are only going to get worse after the elections," Omar added. But some Iraqis expressed their frustration with the lack of any educational material on the elections.

A poll conducted by Al-Mada newspaper and published on Sunday revealed some shocking results when it polled a sample of 300 Iraqis in Al-Sadr City only to discover that almost 100 per cent of those polled had no idea that elections were to be held in the country. The percentage is the highest among the women. But Al-Sadr, a poverty-stricken suburb has many likes in other parts of Iraq. "The electoral commission, says one Iraqi teacher, didn't explain why are we having elections now, it just spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on posters and television adverts that said things like 'vote for Iraq'. So if ignorance of the political process is going to keep some from voting, security is the main reason why the majority of Iraqis are unlikely to turn up for the vote."

<snip>

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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:29 AM
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1. What a charade this election is.
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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:39 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I didn't realize quite what a charade it is.
The things you read in the foreign press!
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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. A new "item" is added every day.
Most people won't vote. There are 7,000 names on the ballot. (most unknown) The parties will not necessarily be listed under identifiable names. Example: The Communist Party will not be listed as the Communist Party. It is part of a group of parties. The "group" name will be listed.

Some of those parties still listed on the ballot are no longer in the running. Some of the candidates listed on the ballot are no longer in the running.

People born in the United States, never having set foot in Iraq, will be voting in the Iraqi election.

People will be "paid" for voting (a quart of goat milk). That's bribery, isn't it? (the voters in Iraq, not the voters in Detroit)

I'm sure there are other things I have forgotten.
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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. And some of the candidates have already been killed
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cliss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. Message to uninformed Iraqis:
You definitely know who this election is really for, when you look at Bush. Notice who he's addressing (Americans). Yes, it's true that he's asking Iraqis to risk their lives to vote on Sunday.

But consider who Bush speaks to. It's us. Who is the promise of "freedom" and "democracy" and "liberation" made to? Us, not you.

This is the ultimate form of using. Using an entire country, just to shamelessly promote a concept, a bitmap image, a hologram of democracy which is founded on citizens' rights to vote.

When he knows damn well that there are 7,000 contenders. Most of whom have not even been announced to the Iraqis. They don't even know where their polling places are, because they have to be kept secret.

Once the "election" is over, what then?

Bush is the ultimate user. He's hijacked the Iraqis' hopes for the future, to use as his own propaganda tool. Worse than bombs, in my opinion.
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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
6. Mid-East Papers Scorn Iraq Poll
From Turkish Weekly

http://www.turkishweekly.net/hisar/news.php?id=3026
Mid-East Papers Scorn Iraq Poll

Reports and editorials in Middle East newspapers show widespread gloom peppered with stark warnings on the eve of Iraq's landmark election.

Some papers depict a "path of fire" or speak of booby-traps and political minefields ready to explode in voters' faces.

But there's a flicker of hope amid the uncertainty, especially in Iraqi Kurdish and Iranian pro-Shia newspapers.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

President Bush said the Iraqi elections will be a historic event and praised the brave Iraqis, who will go to the ballot boxes tomorrow. Bush's words do not reflect Iraq's reality, but rather his obstinacy and attempt to conceal the failure of his plan in Iraq. Iraqis want democracy by all means. However, to talk about democracy in the light of bloody chaos is a complete fraud.

Pan-Arab Al-Quds Al-Arabi editorial


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Iraq is a blazing path of fire, which the Americans entered by force... not knowing the issue was far more complicated than they thought.

Saudi Al-Jazirah editorial


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Today Iraq is a big field of land mines and no one knows where, when, or how they will explode. The land mines will not be removed by a magic election touch, as long as Iraq's major problems remain. We wish Iraq could be free, independent and free from foreign troops.

UAE's Al-Bayan editorial


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One wonders if Iraqi officials, who are backing these elections, realise the danger of what could happen to their country before the hatchet falls on their heads. Those officials should work towards ending this farce called "elections", unite their stance through dialogue and reconciliation, and safeguard Iraq and its people!

Jordan's Al-Dustur commentary


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Tomorrow the whole world will be focusing on Iraq, where general elections on which Iraq's future will be based through the coming years will be held.

Egypt's Al-Ahram editorial


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The polling stations, several tens of which have been destroyed by the guerrilla movement in recent days, could turn into tombs for a number of voters... Yielding to pressure from the Bush administration, Baghdad's provisional government is exposing its citizens' lives to a real danger by appealing to them to turn out to vote... Faced with the complicit silence of the international community, and with the help of Iyad Allawi's government, Iraqis are going to serve as cannon fodder. All of the guerrilla movement's factions, among them Zarqawi's group, Ansar al-Sunnah and the Iraqi Islamic Army, are determined to sow death tomorrow. But what is the life of one Iraqi worth in the eyes of the Baghdad government and the international community?

Algeria's Liberte


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am not happy with the Kurdish administration but I will vote for it. I know that it is not what I have been dreaming about for many long years but I will still cast my vote. I have full belief that the independence I dream about is far greater that what these parties can least of all about, but I will cast my vote. I know that the Kurdish authority is riddled with administrative corruption and that job allocations are based on political allegiances and nepotism, but I will cast my vote... I have no doubt that after 30 January there won't be a sudden change of face or mentality of politicians particularly among the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, but I will cast my vote... With many misgivings, I will cast my vote in Iraq for the Kurdistani list.

Asos Hardi, writing in Iraqi Kurdish independent weekly Hawlati

<snip>
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