Hopes and worries as Iraq votes today

They will choose leaders to guide the country through another four-year period of nation-building following the civil conflict precipitated by the toppling of the secular Baathist government and the installation of a communal regime by the US raj.

First and foremost, voters will have to decide whether they are Iraqis or Shias, Sunnis, Christians and Kurds with communal agendas. If they vote according to religion or ethnicity, as most did in the 2005 assembly contest, Iraq could fracture into warring ethno-sectarian fiefdoms.

A solid vote for non-sectarian parties would prevent this from happening, a Christian from Baghdad told Deccan Herald.  

“Many people now reject sectarianism but it could take another election cycle for the non-sectarian people to become a majority.”

Second, Iraqis claim that they are fed up with politicians who have been in power for the past five years. Therefore, they must decide between inept and corrupt figures and “new faces” who might govern more effectively.  

Finally, if they want some sort of democracy, Iraqis must accept the result of the election, however flawed or fraudulent.

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