Irak - Parlamentsvalg med sikkerhed, optimisme og høj valgdeltagelse?
IRAQ: Elections get underway amid tight security
IRINnews.org, 15. december 2005
Det med spænding imødesete parlamentsvalg i Irak er i gang. Afstemningerne blandt irakere uden for Irak startede allerede for to dage siden (eksempelvis i Bellacentret i København), og den tætte ring af sikkerhed omkring disse arrangementer, har gjort disse forløbere for de egentlige valghandlinger i Irak til en succes. På trods af sunni-arabernes afstandtagen fra de tidligere valg og afstemninger er der en berettiget forventning om at valgdeltagelsen denne gang bliver høj, da også sunni-araberne denne gang har udvist stor interesse i at få politisk indflydelse på den efterfølgende politiske og økonomiske genopbygningsfase. Det må også vurderes som nødvendigt for at undgå den splittelse af landet, som ellers kunne blive en realitet, og som eksempelvis kurderne i det nordøstlige Irak formentlig på ingen måde ville modsætte sig. Men nu er valget til de 275 pladser i Iraks nye Nationalforsamling i gang ved mere end 6.000 valgsteder, overvåget af mere end 120.000 uafhængige observatører.
BAGHDAD, 15 Dec 2005 (IRIN) - Iraqis descended on polling stations on Thursday to choose the country’s first full-term democratic parliament, despite the threat of violence.
Mortar fire was heard in a number of areas around Baghdad, with reports of at least two civilians wounded, according to the BBC.
A total of 228 political entities, including 21 coalitions, are competing for 275 elected seats in the national assembly. The elected government, which will serve a four-year term, will in turn choose a president and two deputies from among its members.
Polling stations opened at 7am local time and are to close at 5pm. Millions of Iraqis will have to walk to local polling stations as only authorised vehicles – available only to security employees and journalists - are permitted to drive, in an attempt to curb car bombings.
According to Farid Ayar, spokesperson for the Independent Electoral Commission in Iraq (IECI), more than 120,000 independent observers have been credited to monitor the voting in 6,000 polling stations across the country.
“We have observed calm voting procedures and practically no casualties have been reported. It has to be a success,” he said.
Salman al-Jumaily, a candidate for the Islamic Party, said that the elections were running smoothly: “Iraqis are voting and security issues are well controlled. Anbar governorate also has a calm and peaceful turnout despite a rocket attack somewhere there,” he said.
Nearly 200,000 security personnel were maintaining order and calm for voters, said Mohammad Mounir, a senior official in the ministry of the interior,
Employees in polling stations in Baghdad and the Anbar governorate noted a huge interest from the Sunni community, which is expected to vote en masse. Mainstream Sunni parties boycotted previous elections and thus lost influence in the interim government.
Despite the general optimism, however, the fear of attacks remains high, especially in the wake of an announcement by the Jordanian leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, accusing voters of being “betrayers”.
“I was very afraid to go to the polling station and I have just returned with my heart in my hands. Thank God nothing happened,” said Fauzyia Bassam in Baghdad.
“I had to walk a long distance until reaching the polling station but I am really happy because I helped my country to be a better nation,” said Khalid Yehia.
Others complained of difficulties in crossing security check-points and the long queues at polling booths.
“They check everyone as if we are insurgents and sometimes bad treatment also occurs but if we do not vote, we are just giving them more chances to behave like that and I want a better future for my children,” said Sami Izzidin.
“It is time to change the reality of our country and transform the past years of blood to future years of happiness and wealth,” he added.