Dienstag, 21.09.2021 / 16:50 Uhr

Irak: Apathie vor der Wahl

Aus dem Netz

Die anstehenden Wahlen werden im Irak eher mit Apathie betrachtet, berichtet Rudaw aus Bagdad:

Although parliamentary polls are to be held on October 10, there is little popular hope for major change through the ballot box, and widespread disillusionment about a political caste widely seen as inept and corrupt.

Sajad, who works in a media production company, says he has no plans to vote.

Many people feel the same, and there are fears voter turnout could drop below the official rate of 44.5 percent from the most recent legislative election in 2018.

In Iraq's public squares and along main avenues there are banners of candidates, and rallies, often attended by local notables and tribal chiefs, have sought to mobilise support.

But overall, there has been little buzz as most Iraqis worry more about a painful economic crisis deepened by low oil prices and the Covid pandemic.

The polls were initially scheduled for 2022 but moved forward to June this year by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, then postponed to October.

The early polls were a concession to a protest movement that broke out in the autumn of 2019, venting anger against corruption, soaring youth unemployment and crumbling public services.

Nearly 25 million Iraqis are eligible to vote, to elect 329 lawmakers from a field of more than 3,200 candidates in 83 constituencies.

A 25 percent quota has been reserved for women in the Council of Representatives, the unicameral assembly located inside Baghdad's high-security Green Zone.

A new electoral law expands the number of constituencies and scraps list-based voting in favour of votes for individual candidates.

But candidates can still run on behalf of a party or coalition, meaning the traditional blocs and patronage networks will likely remain powerful.

Mohammed, an economics graduate who works in a shop selling olive-, almond and other types of oils, says he feels "the election won't bring change".

At age 30, he keeps postponing the idea of marriage because of the searing economic difficulties.

"Basic services are not provided to me. Why should I go to vote?" he said, as the country suffers daily power cuts.