Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Party Politics, Iraq Style
At least 122 political organizations have registered to run in Iraq's Jan. 30 elections, thrilling organizers but setting the stage for tough bargaining over the next eight days.
Many of the parties are expected to combine in loose coalitions as they seek to maximize their seats in a new national assembly. Such alliances must be declared to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) by the end of this month.
Even so, voters will face a bewildering array of choices. There are religious parties representing Shi'ite Muslim, Sunni Muslim and Christian voters; secular parties with religious affiliations or regional interests; parties organized around sheiks and clerics; and parties devoted simply to justice, democracy or equal rights.
"We have so many parties, so many people wanting to participate," said Farid Ayar, a spokesman for the IEC. "It is wonderful. I am happy."
Source: Washington Times
Looks like lots of people want to play, a widespread acceptance of the concept!