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DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ الديموقراطيه في العراق

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Guest Sadok

On my trip, I was interviewed by some journalists. When asked about my opinion on some who said that the ellection is not legitamitate under occupation, my reply was that it the UN who set the mechanism for the US occupation exit and Ellection is one step toward this UN resolution call.. For those who don't buy I would like to ask if they know that even the new Iraq state was established by the the British occupation and the voting on the Monarchy was done under occupation.. Not mentioning that all the Middel east states were set up by

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Guest Guest_Tajer

http://www.iraqocv.org/php/content.php?link_id=88&lang=eng

 

registration statistics .

More than 130 thousands registerd their names till friday

It is expected that most of the registrees will register on the weekend in the westren countries

In Denemarc there more than 10 thousands registree among the estimate of 15 thousands elegiable.. think this due to two reasons, the travell is not very far is the case with some other places also the great intiative by the Denish goverment of providing free transportation for them

In Iran the total no is 12 thousands "compare this with the cliam of King Abdullah of having million Iranian registering as Iraqis" with the estimated of 100 thousands elligable voters. One official of the committe said that there is no enought centers and most Iraqis are refuge who could not pay for their trip expensese specially those 30 thousands in Ellam, where the nearst center is about 5 hrs driving

 

Expariot Iraqis in USa are driving more than 10 hrs to get to centers, there is more than 12 thousands already registered..

As some Iraqi call it, it is the vote for the new Iraq it is not voting for a party! it is our only hope now to fight back the occupation and the tyrony in one shot!

Thanks to the sacrifies of all who fell in the battel of liberating Iraq. The blood of those young American soldiers will be forgotten..

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Example of some media coverage..I wanted to refre the followings to readers:

 

1- Kurds in Kurdestan are mainly Sunni Muslims "may be more than 95% of them"

2- There are more than 40% Sunni candidates scaterd among different slates

3-The Coalition slate, the one that the writer falsely reported as all Shia, is having Shiekh Fawaz , a main Sunni trib leader from Musol. Not mentiong others who are also non Muslim such as Yazedee

4- A lot of voters that I personally contacted have voting as the issue not to whom.They said it is our way of fighting terror back and making the first step in rebuild.. Any one ellected is fine as far as he doesn't committed crimes against people.

As Election Nears, Iraqis Remain Sharply Divided on Its Value

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

 

Published: January 23, 2005

 

 

AGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 22 - Hejaz Hazim, a computer engineer who could not find a job in computers and now cleans clothes, slammed his iron into a dress shirt the other day and let off a burst of steam about the coming election.

 

"This election is bogus," Mr. Hazim said. "There is no drinking water in this city. There is no security. Why should I vote?"

 

Across town in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, a grocer called Abu Allah stood behind his pyramids of fruit and said that no matter what, he was going to the polls.

 

"Even if there's a bomb in my polling place," he said, "I will go in it."

 

If Iraq was ever a divided country, it is especially divided now.

 

With Iraq's crucial election coming up on Jan. 30, people here still have strikingly different views on the vote, with the disparities apparently based not on class or education or sex or age but on the country's stubbornly durable fault lines of ethnic and religious affiliation.

 

The biggest chasm seems to be between the most powerful groups in Iraq: the Shiites and the Sunnis. Every single Shiite interviewed for this article said he or she planned to vote. Though there are a few Sunni leaders running for office, all the Sunnis interviewed, except one, said they were going to boycott. That could mean a humiliation for American forces and the new Iraqi government, who have relentlessly pounded the Sunni areas in a so far unsuccessful campaign to wipe out the resistance.

 

Granted, the opinions of 50 to 60 people, all told, hardly constitute a scientific sample. But they are revealing.

 

When asked for his thoughts on the election process, Jabbar Saeed, a businessman in the Sunni-dominated city of Falluja, which has been reduced to rubble not once but twice, said Zionists were behind the election and added, "This election is not free or honest."

 

As for the future, he said, "things will turn worse."

 

Iraq has always been an uneasy mix of Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and smaller ethnic minorities. The country was glued together by colonial powers after World War I and held intact by totalitarian rule.

 

Now, after nearly two years of violent upheaval, many in Iraq and beyond see this election, in which 111 political parties are vying for seats in a newly created national assembly, as the make-or-break moment for the country's survival.

 

The Rev. Zarya Benjamin, a Syrian Catholic priest in Baghdad, is hopeful.

 

"When people finally taste freedom, this country will turn around," he said in his drafty, cavernous church.

 

But then, between a moment's thought and a breath of frankincense-flavored air, he conceded: "Well, the resistance might not totally go away after Jan. 30. But it will be less."

 

The biggest obstacle to unity and peace is the Sunni vote - or the lack of it. For decades, the Sunni Arabs, including Saddam Hussein, ruled Iraq, even though they make up only 20 percent of the population, compared with the Shiites, who constitute 60 percent. But since the American-led invasion, many Sunnis have lost their jobs, their status and their power. In protest, many of the Sunni parties have pulled out of the voting. In Adamiya, a Sunni neighborhood of Baghdad where American tanks have blown apart market stalls, it is hard to find even an election poster.

 

"Let me tell you something important," lectured Walid Muhammad, the imam of a major Sunni mosque here. "As long as my country is under occupation, I feel that my vote means nothing."

 

On election day, he said, he will stay home.

 

So will Fatheya Jalal, a wizened fortuneteller in Adamiya. Her main concern, as with many potential voters, is security, though whether it will stop them from going to the polls seems to depend mostly on which group they belong to.

 

"I'm scared of being out there," Ms. Jalal admitted. "I don't want to get hurt. Everybody knows voters will be targeted."

 

The security situation has become particularly precarious. Sometimes it is impossible to tell who is who. Many police officers wear street clothes and ski masks. Many insurgents dressed in government-style uniforms have waved down cars and killed people.

 

Sheiban Sabir, an agricultural engineer in the northern city of Mosul, was the lone Sunni to express a willingness to vote, but with a heavy condition.

 

"I will go, but only if there is security," Mr. Sabir said.

 

That may be a tall order in crime-ridden Mosul, home to a mushrooming insurgency.

 

 

 

Many Sunni voters say they do not know enough about the candidates to vote. Because so many politicians have been gunned down, many candidates have shied away from public events and some even refuse to reveal their names.

 

That has not discouraged the Shiites. When asked what she knew about the mechanics of this election, the matriarch of a Shiite family - who gave her name as Om Hassan and who on a recent day was out buying tomatoes from Abu Allah at the grocery - said she knew nothing.

 

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"But I will vote," she said eagerly. "Right next to my husband."

 

Abu Samer, a Sadr city shopkeeper and a Shiite, waxed poetic about the value of the vote. "It's the most important pillar in building a free country," he said.

 

Abu Mallak, who runs a real estate office in Sadr City, where last year Shiite guerrillas wearing flip-flops took on American armored battalions, said this election was the key to Iraq's long-awaited liberation.

 

"We don't have the strength to fight the Americans militarily, so we must use the law," he said. "I'm sick of seeing the American tanks with my own eyes. My vote is a way to get rid of them."

 

He said his two sons worked for the Iraqi election commission, an agency that is a prime target of the insurgency. Every morning their mother weeps when they leave home.

 

"She always asks me to stop them," he said. "I always refuse."

 

Most Shiites interviewed said they were going to vote for the United Iraqi Alliance, the union of the two main Shiite religious parties, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Islamic Dawa Party. The combination ticket has been tacitly endorsed by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the country's revered Shiite cleric.

 

"It's the right ticket," said Khadim Fadhil Abbas, a caretaker at the Khadimiya shrine in Baghdad, a popular Shiite pilgrimage site. "All the candidates are Shiite."

 

The next most popular party among the Shiites is the Iraqi National Accord, a secular slate led by Iraq's interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi, which includes some Sunni candidates.

 

Religious identity was a touchy subject for several voters.

 

"Why do foreigners always ask Shiite or Sunni?" said Mr. Hazim, the computer engineer turned laundry worker, who is a Sunni.

 

Truth be told, the election seems to be sharpening sectarian and ethnic differences, because in the absence of substantial campaigning, many voters are falling back on the one thing they do know about the candidates: their sect and ethnicity.

 

The Kurdish population, mostly in the safer north, making up nearly 20 percent of Iraq's 25 million people, is as energized by the election as the Shiites, and Kurdish turnout is expected to be very high.

 

Unlike the Shiites, who have several parties to pick from, the two Kurdish powerhouses, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, have banded together on one ticket, making voting even more inviting.

 

"If anybody knows the value of democracy, the difference between living with it and without it, it is the Kurds," said Fadel Hayat, a Kurdish painter in Baghdad.

 

Haval Muhammad, a Kurdish laborer in Baghdad, said he was not expecting the elections to deliver a miracle in good governance.

 

"We will have a democracy," Mr. Muhammad said. "But not a perfect one."

 

The Christian population, about 3 percent of Iraq's people, is not quite as monolithic as the Kurds. No doubt, most will vote and many expressed a typical dose of Iraqi fatalism.

 

"Scared?" said Vivian Lazar, who was lounging on the balcony of her apartment block in Baghdad. "If God wants me, he can take me. I'm voting."

 

But not all Christians said they would vote for the Christian parties.

 

"I'm going for Allawi," said Mariam Soro, a translator. "He has the best relations with the West."

 

Dr. Allawi, several potential voters said, is the Shiite who appeals best to non-Shiites. He is also the one who provokes the most Sunni hatred because of his support of the November siege of Falluja.

 

According to a survey released this week in a Baghdad newspaper, two-thirds of respondents in the capital said they would vote in the election, which also includes provincial races. Half said they would cast their ballots for religious parties, half for secular. The poll did not break down results by sect or ethnicity.

 

There was one thing, though, that many Iraqis interviewed for this article, from all groups, agreed on: the novelty of free elections. Abdul Khadim Ali, a portrait painter, remembers the days of Mr. Hussein's elections and how there were not 111 spots on the ballot but 2: yes or no.

 

"Some Baathist guy once came to our house and told my family we didn't have to go to the trouble of filling out our ballots - he'd do it for us," he said, referring to Mr. Hussein's party.

 

"This time," Mr. Ali said, "I'm marking my own box."

 

 

Reporting for this article was contributed by Khalid W. Hassan, Zeinab Obied, Mona Mahmoud, Bejier Kittani and Warzer Jafffrom Baghdad, and Iraqi employees of The New York Times from Falluja and Mosul.

 

http://www.nytimes.com

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Guest Laith
Oh - and I forgot to add - I have noticed whenever any sort of question regarding New Iraq's government comes up, almost everyone starts off with: "Well, the sunnis want this, " "the shias want that" "the kurds will do this" blah blah blah blah.

 

And why? I do not even know why there is such interest as to how much hair the next leader of Iraq has on his back due to his ethnicity? Why does it matter? This is why the constitution I crudely outlined above should also be color-blind. Your city of origin, ethnic identity and favourite kurdish singer should have nothing to do with how you are to govern the country.

 

What is there to lament about if we all agree on a p_e_r_s_o_n elected to follow the *constitution*, and do just that?

 

A color-blind government, with a color blind constitution is what we need - so when you look at some candidate for office, look at his CV, accomplishments, criminal history, and qualifications - not at his sunni-like mustache, or kurdish necklace around his neck.

 

 

No to Iraq becoming an affirmative action sharade!

What make you think the majority in Iraq will crush the minorities...... western civillization did that .....the whole last century show that western civillization is a savage oneOnly in 2nd world war about 20 millions were killed....Red indans Africans...Vietnamees were sloughterd ....and today Asia, Africa, and south america suffering from the west.....You are powerfull but Immoraal

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Guest Mustefser

Laith,

I might failed to got your point. Are you saying that what Westren history did is a proof to he worry that majority will crash Minority in Iraq.?

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Guest مسفسر

In Arabic.. Farid Ayar, the committee spokes man commenting on what Aljezera has repoted of difference between members

 

 

فريد ايار ينفي وجود أي خلافات في المفوضية العليا المستقلة للانتخابات

 

بغداد-الرافدين-24-1 : نفى الدكتور فريد ايار ما نشرته بعض الصحف من وجود خلافات داخل المفوضية وقال ان ما صدر لا يعدو كونه ترويج ومحاولة اساءة لعملها الناجح والذي اصبح مضرب مثل لدى جميع العراقيين.

 

واشار الدكتور ايار ان ما نشر من ادعاءات بوجود مخالفات داخل المفوضية أمور غير صحيحة ولا يفترض الالتفات اليها لأنها لا تستحق ذلك.

 

وقال الدكتور ايار ان العمل داخل المفوضية يتميز بالصدق والصراحة والموضوعية التامة كما ان عمل المفوضية شفاف ونستطيع نشر جميع مستنداتنا في الصحف ليطلع عليها الجمهور العراقي.

 

ونفى الدكتور ايار ما يتردد من وجود خلافات بينه وبين رئيس مجلس المفوضين وقال انها شائعات هدفها اعاقة العمل داخل المفوضية فالعلاقات عادية وليس هناك ما يشوبها.

 

وقال ان بعض الصحف التي تنشر مثل هذه الافكار هدفها الاساءة للعملية الانتخابية من خلال محاولة الهاء اعضاء المفوضية بأمور جانبية.

 

وتمنى الدكتور ايار على الصحف ووسائل الاعلام ادراك ان مثل هذه المحاولات هدفها تعطيل الانتخابات في يومها وان تخرصات قناة الجزيرة التي تواصل ضخ مثل هذه الأفكار الكاذبة يجب اهمالها وعدم الالتفات اليها.

 

الرافدين

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Guest Mustefser

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/25/internat...1&th&oref=login

Balking at Vote, Sunnis Seek Role on Constitution

By EDWARD WONG

 

Published: January 25, 2005

 

 

AGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 24 - Sunni Arab leaders who have been the most vocal in calling for a boycott or postponement of the coming elections say they intend to get involved in politics after the vote, including taking part in writing a permanent constitution.

 

There is too much at stake, with the constitution to be drafted by August 2005 and full-term elections held by year's end, for Sunni groups to reject the political process, the leaders say, even if they are sticking to their denunciation of the elections.

This talk by prominent Sunnis is the most positive sign yet that there is still a chance they will take part in the political process, potentially bolstering the beleaguered American effort to plant democracy in the Middle East.

 

Those saying they want to become involved in the process are not leaders of the Sunni-dominated insurgency, and there is no indication that the violence will abate after the vote. But some of these Sunni leaders, who include powerful clerics, have considerable influence with the guerrillas and could act as a bridge between the new government - expected to be dominated by the majority Shiites - and the insurgency.

 

The 275-member national assembly to be elected Sunday is to appoint a president and prime minister, draft a permanent constitution and prepare the country for full-term elections in December. There is nothing forbidding outsiders from getting involved in writing the constitution, and even the most hard-line Sunni leaders say they expect the assembly to invite them into the process.

 

Although Sunni participation would be good news for those who want the political process to move forward in Iraq, it is not necessarily a matter of acquiescence. In the last week, Sunni leaders have threatened to scuttle the constitution if the post-election government and American officials do not bring them in. A measure in the transitional basic law approved last spring allows just 3 of the country's 18 provinces to nullify a draft of the constitution if two-thirds of their residents vote against it in a referendum. Sunnis are a majority in at least three provinces, and Sunni leaders are now bringing up this measure as leverage to put Shiite, Kurdish and American officials on notice that the minority Sunnis expect a place in postelection politics.

 

"Certainly because we withdrew from the elections, that doesn't mean we won't be part of the drafting of the constitution," said Sheik Moayad Ibrahim al-Adhami, a senior member of the Muslim Scholars Association, which says it represents 3,000 mosques and is the most influential Sunni group to call for an election boycott. "The elections are one matter; the constitution is another."

 

"All the Sunnis must take part in drafting the constitution," added Sheik Adhami, who is the imam of Abu Hanifa Mosque, possibly the most anti-American mosque in Baghdad.

 

Sunni leaders have been in talks with Iraqi and American officials on how else they can get involved in the new government, even if Sunnis fare poorly in the national elections. There are proposals to make sure the new government sets aside some ministry offices for Sunnis. Some Sunni politicians are lobbying their parties to limit the boycott to national elections, thus allowing them to vie in the provincial elections, also scheduled for Sunday.

 

John D. Negroponte, the American ambassador to Iraq, said the embassy was reaching out to "just about any Sunni group that we come into contact with" to persuade them to remain involved in politics. Hopefully those who decided "to sit or fight this round out" will become engaged after the elections, he said.

 

Shiite politicians say they plan to make sure Sunni Arabs are adequately represented in the new government. Ali Faisal al-Lami, an aide to Ahmad Chalabi, the former exile who is running on the most popular Shiite slate, said Shiite candidates had been in talks with Sunni tribal leaders in hostile cities like Mosul, Ramadi and Tikrit. "We will give them some positions in the cabinet and ministries," he said.

An American diplomat said many Sunni politicians were "under physical pressure, and they look for assurance from us that we'll continue to engage with the Sunni Arab community." He added, "I'm spending a fair amount of my time bucking people up."

 

Mohsen Abdul-Hameed, the leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party, the most prominent Sunni group to withdraw from the elections, is trying to tread the fine line between catering to his anti-American constituency and staying politically involved. He said he had received a written threat from an insurgent cell not to take part in the new government, but was still in "deep negotiations" with American officials to secure a role for his party.

 

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"We will not take seats in the government, and we won't accept any appointments," Mr. Abdul-Hameed said. "But about the constitution, we will participate, and we will be involved in writing a draft of it if we're asked to do that."

 

The Iraqi Islamic Party's announcement of withdrawal in late December was considered a big blow to the elections because the party is popular among Sunni Arabs. But the party never removed its slate of candidates from the ballot. Mr. Abdul-Hameed said that if the slate won national assembly seats, he would not bar his candidates from taking them, as long as the candidates were not official party members.

 

Because of the calls for boycott and because of the dire security situation in the Sunni-dominated provinces, Iraqi and American officials fear that Sunni Arab turnout on Sunday will be low and that Sunnis will consequently regard the new government as illegitimate.

 

Sunni Arabs ruled Iraq for decades, but were ousted from power with the toppling of Saddam Hussein, a Sunni from Tikrit. Many now chafe under the American occupation and see the elections as the means by which the Americans will install a Shiite-dominated government.

 

But the measure calling for a referendum on the draft constitution - as laid out in the transitional law approved last March - could actually give the Sunni Arabs huge leverage. The measure says that when Iraqis vote on the draft in October, a two-thirds decision against it in at least three provinces will invalidate it.

 

This measure was first proposed in early 2004 and was most strongly championed by the Kurds, who wanted to be able to invoke the threat of a veto of the constitution to lobby for more autonomy. Shiite leaders opposed the measure but lost that fight.

 

Now, it is Sunni politicians, confronted by the real possibility of low representation in the assembly, who are threatening to call on people of the Sunni-majority provinces of Anbar, Salahuddin and Nineveh to vote down the constitution if the Sunni leaders are denied a role in drafting it.

 

"That constitution is not going to be recognized, and people from those areas won't feel this is a true constitution for them," said Hatem al-Mukhlis, a former exile who heads the Iraqi National Movement, a Sunni Arab party that has opted to take part in the elections despite Mr. Mukhlis's deep skepticism about the process. "They'll continue fighting."

 

Adnan Pachachi, the most prominent secular Sunni candidate, said that after the elections, the national assembly should make it a priority to approach those groups that denounced the elections to get them to take part in writing the constitution.

 

"There are those who feel they've been marginalized, who feel they haven't been treated fairly," he said. "It is possible to invite people from outside the national assembly to be in on the drafting of the constitution."

 

Like Mr. Mukhlis, Mr. Pachachi is a Sunni leader who objects to the elections, but has decided to take part to remain engaged in politics. In November, he led a call by 17 political groups for a six-month postponement of the vote, arguing that Iraq was too unstable for it to be fair. But when it became apparent the White House would not put off the elections, he decided to run for office.

 

"We thought it would be more useful to be a part of the national assembly," he said. "It's a judgment call, whether it's more useful to be part of the process or to be outside."

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