Iraq’s Elections: Success with Worrisome Details

Monday, February 02, 2009

Most Americans appear to want to forget about the War in Iraq, as more immediate concerns, such as the failing economy, take precedent. Even in terms of national security, the situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan seem more relevant. So it was a relief to learn that Iraq held provincial elections that were relatively free of violence. Unfortunately, there were certain aspects of the process that do not bode well for Iraq’s future. To begin with, turnout was down to only 51%. In Baghdad, turnout is estimated to have been about 40% and in the volatile Falluja area, only 25% voted. In four of Iraq’s 18 provinces, in the north, there was no election at all. Three Kurdish-majority regions will hold separate elections, and oil-rich, ethnically-mixed Kirkuk was considered too dangerous to hold a vote. The real test of Iraq’s road to democracy will come in December, when the nation holds parliamentary elections.

                                                                                                                    -David Wallechinsky

Secular Parties and Premier Ahead in Iraq (by Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times)
Iraq (AllGov)


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