Politicians Fail to Convince Voters Change is Possible

By Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

No one in Iraq is satisfied with the country’s situation. The term “change” is on everyone’s lips, from the top of the ruling pyramid to the ordinary man in the street.

Although the goals of change in Iraq are not quite clear, everyone agrees that change can only be brought about through elections.

The low number of voters who showed up to update their records in preparation for the legislative elections in April 2014 is worrisome and raises questions about the will for change. The figures leaked from the Electoral Commission indicate that fewer than 500,000 people updated their records days before the expiration of the statutory period.

Even though leaders such as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr called on voters to update their records, this failed to raise the participation rates to numbers significant enough to make an impact.

This raises concerns of political leaders such as Ethel Nujaifi, the governor of Mosul, who said that only 4% of Mosul’s Arabs showed up to update their records.

This was accompanied by accusations directed at the Electoral Commission about failing to urge citizens to update their records.

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