Campaigning for Iraq’s first national elections since US forces left the country in December 2011 is well under way, with posters covering the walls of the country’s decaying buildings and political advertisements dominating the airwaves.
Election campaigning in the multi-ethnic province of Kirkuk is causing tension in the disputed territory. Campaigners have come to blows, local police have put a curfew on electioneering and analysts warn of more bloodshed to come. After all, they say, in Kirkuk this isn't just about getting elected. It's about who really owns this troubled province.
"High drama and low comedy" was how the former US ambassador Ryan Crocker described the 2010 Iraqi elections. It was an accurate description although he failed to mention the real reasons behind this failure: the US occupation and the destruction of the Iraqi state, allowing the unqualified people who cooperated with the occupation to rule Iraq, imposing a constitution which Iraqis did not have the chance to read, and dividing the country on ethnic and sectarian lines.
Iraqi parliamentarians said Friday that the government is seeking to send a draft law to parliament that would allow the announcement of a state of emergency ahead of elections scheduled for April 30.
Iraqi parliamentary rapporteur Mohamed Al-Khalidi told Asharq Al-Awsat that parliament had received the draft National Safety Law on Friday, but warned that it would not be able to ratify the bill due to how late it was submitted.
Campaigning for Iraq's April 30 elections will be "highly divisive" as parties appeal to their sectarian bases at a time of worsening violence, the UN's envoy to Baghdad has warned.
Nickolay Mladenov also pushed for Iraqi leaders to urgently pass a much-delayed annual budget within two weeks, noting that further postponing the spending bill would badly impact on drawing much-needed business and investment to the country.
Campaigning for Iraq's April 30 general election opened Tuesday, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki bidding for a third term as his government grapples with the country's worst bloodshed in years.
Iraqis face a long list of daily struggles, ranging from lengthy power cuts and poor running water and sewerage to rampant corruption and high levels of unemployment, to say nothing of a seemingly endless stream of attacks which have killed more than 2,200 people this year.
Campaigning has begun for next month's general election in Iraq, with Prime Minister Nouri Maliki seeking a third consecutive term in office.
No single bloc is expected to win a majority of the 328 seats in the Council of Representatives on 30 April.
However, Mr Maliki's Shia-dominated State of Law alliance is widely seen as the front-runner.
The poll comes with violence in Iraq at its highest level since the peak of the sectarian insurgency from 2006 to 2008.
La junta de la Comisión Electoral de Irak ha presentado este martes su dimisión en bloque para protestar por las supuestas injerencias políticas, a poco más de un mes de que se celebren los comicios parlamentarios y en un momento de extrema violencia en el país por los constantes atentados.
The board of Iraq's election commission has resigned in protest at what it says is political and judicial interference ahead of April legislative elections.
The joint decision was made to preserve the independence and impartiality of the commission, a statement said.
It had faced huge pressure as a result of a dispute over the interpretation of the electoral law, it added.
A clause approved last year allows for the exclusion of candidates considered not "of good reputation".
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi affirmed that the Iraqi parliamentary elections may not be held on April 30 as scheduled in light of the recent developments in the country.
A series of bombings targeted commercial infrastructure and security forces in Baghdad and its environs on Tuesday, killing at least 12 people. Car bombs were also reported in the holy city of Karbala, sacred to Shi’ites, and the southern town of Hafriyah, killing at least four others as the security situation across Iraq continues to deteriorate.
Iraq is preparing for general elections at the end of April. Despite the fact that all of the candidates and their parties have now been listed, election campaigning shouldn’t start officially until Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission, or IHEC, approves a date. And campaigning should also stop 24 hours before the polling centres open on April 30.
The prominent and key role played by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in formulating the general framework of the Iraqi regime after 2003 is no secret. He insisted that Iraqis write the constitution, demanded that the state hire people by democratic mechanisms and insisted on holding elections as soon as possible.
Iraqi election officials began handing out new, computerized voter identification cards Saturday across the capital as the country prepares for its first nationwide election since the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
But the more than $100 million push to modernize voting comes as officials can't distribute cards in embattled Anbar province, where al-Qaida fighters seized control of parts of two cities, and as militant attacks rage on unabated, killing at least 14 people alone Saturday and wounding nearly two dozen.
Chairman of Iraqi Elections Commission discussed with the US embassy in Baghdad the role of international observers in the coming elections.
In a statement today, the Commission tackled the preparations for the electoral process.
Najaf (Iraq) (AFP) - Powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, leader of a major political movement and a key figure in post-Saddam Iraq, has announced his exit from politics two months before elections.
Tens of thousands of security forces in Iraq’s self-ruled northern Kurdish region flocked on Thursday to polling centers to vote, two days ahead of the area’s fourth election for local parliament since 1992.
Saturday’s balloting in the region also known as Iraqi Kurdistan is likely to underline the Kurdish minority’s insistence on self-rule and independence from the central, Arab-led government in Baghdad.
Close to 50% of eligible voters cast their ballot in Iraq's provincial elections today amid tight security.
Election officials said including results from a special vote a week earlier for members of the armed forces, total participation would be more than 51%.
Official preliminary results are not expected for several days, but the local vote will be a key test of political parties' strength before the parliamentary elections in 2014.
Irak ha celebrado hoy sábado sus primeras elecciones desde la salida de las tropas estadounidenses en diciembre de 2011. Un total de 13,8 millones de ciudadanos estaban convocados para renovar las asambleas provinciales. Pero los comicios dicen tanto de la progresiva normalización del país como de su disfuncionalidad. Una docena de bombas caseras y ataques con mortero a otros tantos colegios electorales han dejado cuatro heridos, apenas un recordatorio de la violencia que ha precedido a la cita con las urnas y causado un centenar de muertos desde el pasado domingo.
Two Iraqi Sunni Muslim candidates were killed less than a week before local elections that will be a test of the country's political stability after U.S. troops left more than a year ago.
The election on Saturday to select provincial council members will measure Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's political muscle against Shi'ite and Sunni rivals before the parliamentary election in 2014.