Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Iraqis on their election

openDemocracy will join the rush to have Iraqis comment on the 30 Jan election in their own words. Ahead of that, Maryam Maruf found this report striking:

BAGHDAD, The Iraqi interior minister warned Tuesday, January 18, the country risked sliding into civil war if the Iraqi Sunnis boycott the January 30 polls.

“Failing to take part in the elections is tantamount to treason and will lead to a civil war and the division of the country,” said Iraq’s Interior Minister Falah Naqib, who is also a member of the Iraqi Sunni sect, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.

“All Iraqis should take part in the elections as best they can. It is not crucial that they should vote, the important thing is that everyone participates,” he said.

James Meek has a good piece in the 18 Jan Guardian about British Iraqis and the election (It's like freedom - not available on Guardian web site at time of writing). Nadia el-Douri, a forty year old single mother who is voting from the UK but does not plan to go back to Iraq anytime soon because the situation is so dangerous, tells Meek:

"[The Americans] didn't plan [the invasion] properly. They just jumped in the middle of the fire, without anything to put it out with. Here [in Britain], when the police come to see you, they talk to you first before they break down your door and jump on your head".

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