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Commentary: 'Iraqi Political Forces as Viewed by Voters'


Iraqi National Congress official Ahmad Chalabi in Washington on 9 November (AFP) By Zafir Shukr. Published in the Iraqi National Congress's (INC) daily "Al-Mu'tamar" on 8 November 2005.

(Shukr argues that the INC is the only political list that is working for the interests of the Iraqi people.)

"...Ordinary people have begun wondering whether the reason behind the termination of the former dictatorial regime was only to import an even worse dictatorship and bandits under new names and with different shapes to loot public wealth.
Furthermore, several sincere patriotic and nationalist figures have preferred to remain independent and have not joined any political party.... We believe that these parties and figures will not be able to achieve any success by themselves. They can achieve better results if they cooperate with other forces that have similar goals.


The current structure of the main political parties and coalitions are based on regional and sectarian backgrounds. They aim to seize power in order to serve the best interests of their officials. They are exploiting the agony and suffering of ordinary people to incite their feeling of injustice and oppression and promoting fear of the control of other religious sects or ethnic groups.

For example, Kurdish parties are sparing no effort to frighten and warn Kurdish people against the danger of chauvinism which, according to them, characterizes Arabs and their political forces in Iraq. The Kurdish leaders and senior officials seize every available opportunity to promote this idea in order to ensure that no Kurdish individual will vote for any other Arab parties. In addition, they persuade and bribe people sometimes by distributing money and parcels of land to ensure their loyalty...

The religious parties, however, are focusing on the hideous issue of sectarianism. They tend to exploit every incident or event to stir up people's feelings by insinuating directly and indirectly that they are backed by either Shi'ite or Sunni religious authorities, even though we did not hear a Sunni religious authority prior to the downfall of the criminal Saddamist regime.... They are trying to deceive ordinary people that they are unified to protect their sect, while neither Shi'ite nor Sunni coalitions have agreeable political or economic agendas to ensure the prosperity of Iraq and its people and their security.

The Association of Muslim Scholars, which is determined to kill the Iraqi people in the name of the Sunnis despite their disapproval, is proving its political foolishness and illiteracy every day. It has made several regretful strategic mistakes and erroneous decisions, such as its refusal to participate in the political process and reconstruction of Iraq, the boycott of the previous elections and referendum on the constitution, and its discouragement of the Sunni people from joining the Iraqi Army and security forces...

The other directions of major electoral blocs are either secular or moderate. The secular line is represented by Allawi's bloc. Following the failure of his previous government -- large-scale embezzlement and looting amounting to unbelievable figures during his term in office which equal the national budget of some countries -- and the loss of support of most of Iraqis who supported him in the previous elections, Allawi made an alliance with Ba'athists and Saddamists. He has promised their military and civilian leaders important posts in state institutions.

The large-scale penetration of the remnants of Saddam's former security agencies and followers in the Iraqi Army and other security forces, which were responsible for the assassination of thousands of Iraqi security officials, is testimony [to Allawi's stance]...

The moderate line is represented by the Iraqi National Congress, whose economic and security program fulfills the inspiration of the Iraqi people to ensure their quota from Iraq's national wealth. The political platform of the Iraqi National Congress calls for the punishment of embezzlers, de-Ba'athification, and the prosecution of all those who were involved in the torture and killing of Iraqis. In the meantime, the Iraqi National Congress Party opposes ethnicity and sectarianism and does not represent any particular ethnic faction or religious sect.

[The INC] has opened its doors wide for all Iraqis, regardless of their religion or ethnic and sectarian background; thus it represents the genuine unity of all Iraqi components. The important role of the Iraqi National Congress and its leader in the alliance of all Iraqi opposition forces in 1991 is a testimony. Also, it played a significant...role in the downfall of the former dictatorial regime. In addition it played a major, wise and principal role in the involvement of an important Iraqi faction, the al-Sadr trend, in the ongoing political process. Some Iraqi forces attempted to categorize the trend among the antidemocratic forces due to its antioccupation stance. The Iraqi National Congress Party believes that the rejection of occupation does not necessarily mean the rejection of the democratic process.

Furthermore, several sincere patriotic and nationalist figures have preferred to remain independent and have not joined any political party.... We believe that these parties and figures will not be able to achieve any success by themselves. They can achieve better results if they cooperate with other forces that have similar goals.

This time, the Iraqi people will take their time to decide for which electoral bloc they should vote because their decision will decide the fate of Iraq during the next four years. They will base their decision on the analysis and examination of the performance of various electoral blocs during the previous period rather than on sentiment and sectarian and ethnic backgrounds.

RFE/RL Iraq Report


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