06 March 2010

Election Day In Iraq Sunday

You can't tell the players without a scorecard. From GoverningPeople.com, images of Iraqi campaign posters, with translations: Iraqi Campaign Posters

From Foreign Policy: The Definitive Guide to the Iraqi Elections

"The Land of Two Rivers" is also the land of thousands of aspiring political leaders. Foreign Policy takes you inside the diverse parties, coalitions, and sects, from the center of power to its outermost fringes, that make up Iraq's political mosaic.

What follows is the definitive guide to the parties and coalitions that will shape the future of Iraqi politics. While the central players usually hog the media spotlight, Iraq also has a bewildering array of smaller political parties representing minor ethnic groups, or political trends that have fallen by the wayside in recent years. On the final page of its guide FP delves into the fringes of the Iraqi political world.

NY Times: Unity Elusive as Iraq Grasps Trappings of Democracy

Under American charge, an indisputable political culture has risen along the banks of the Tigris River, unparalleled in the rest of the Arab world.

But elections often exacerbate rather than bridge divisions. And as the United States military withdraws this year, Iraqis have begun to ask whether their state — divided, feeble and corrupt — can navigate the vote’s results in a country still plagued by the miseries of war, the legacy of Mr. Hussein’s rule and a calculus that celebrates the victor’s claiming the spoils of the vanquished.

In that, the elections may be a cautionary lesson, as politicians struggle to cobble together a coalition to rule. Iraq’s politics are more vibrant than the institutions meant to gird them, threatening the support of the people they have enfranchised and a nascent, if flawed democratic experiment that has yet to take root.

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