Housing Initiative Part of Election Strategy?

She added, “I and hundreds of my fellow teachers, when we contacted the Education Department, they told us that the forms have been completed, but they didn’t tell us when the distribution started and in accordance with what mechanism. When I asked the employee in charge, they forcibly expelled me and a number of teachers, who received nothing but election promises.”

Iman Fadel told Al-Monitor, “Land distribution is part of an empty electoral campaign that is no different than the lies about electricity, state services and security, which we have not seen come into effect on the ground.” Her husband, Karim al-Rubaie, a journalist for a daily newspaper, interjected, “We have gotten used to getting the officials’ attention about the citizens’ suffering every time the parliamentary elections approach.”

The land-for-teachers program may have been just an empty promise, but the program for journalists actually reached the stage where a thousand land plots in Baghdad were distributed by lottery drawings. Despite the passage of more than two months on that, no one knows the fate of those lands. And if the plots are not delivered before the election, then the whole thing would have been just a trick by the politicians to win votes.

Director of the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory in Baghdad, Ziad al-Ojaili, said that the Iraqi government is working according to random plans to distribute land to citizens and journalists.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, he said, “The government, especially the prime minister, is trying to distribute these lands to silence journalists or bribe them. But journalists will not be quiet about the government failures at the services and political levels, which are getting worse by the day.”

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