Iraqi elections held amid popular despair

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By Fatih Abdulsalam

Azzaman, April 17, 2014

Streets in Iraq are adorned with billboards and other election-related advertising. On the surface one would think that Iraqis are on the verge of a new transformation as they go to polls by the end of the month.

But the majority of legible voters know that there is no hope for a change for the better.

The experience from elections was bitter. With the end of each of what is said to be free, fair and democratic elections, Iraqis entered an era of bloodshed and tragic events that made conditions even worse than before.

There is little hope that the general elections scheduled for the end of this month will be different.

The run-up to the elections is so vibrant with advertising and campaigning from different factions and groups. On the surface it is exactly the type of diversity a country with multiple races, sects and faiths needs.

But as campaigning is at its height, there is nothing in the air of who is to blame for the casualties and damage which is inflicted on the country almost on a daily basis.

The country is bruised and injured and cannot wait anymore for national reconciliation to take place.

Preparations and campaigning for elections are going ahead while warplanes are bombing targets in towns whose voters will go to polls in less than two weeks.

Iraqis are fed up with false smiles by their politicians. They can no longer be deceived by their promises because they now that their country’s political elites are immersed in hatred, rancor, corruption and deceit.

Are the candidates really in need of spending lavishly on their campaigning for the Iraqis to remember them on polling day?