- Title: Security forces deployed on eve of election to encourage Iraqis to vote
- Date: 9th October 2021
- Summary: VARIOUS OF MEMBERS OF SECURITY FORCES HANDING DIARIES TO CITIZENS IN CARS, TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO VOTE ON SUNDAY (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI CITIZEN, ISSA EL-SAIDI, SAYING: "Even if there is great degree of confidence, participation is still necessary. Even if there are interferences, there always interferences, but that does not mean that the whole population should not participate (in the vote), even if it is 20 million or 30 million that participate. People have to participate in order to change things." BASRA, IRAQ (OCTOBER 9, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CANDIDATE POSTERS IN STREETS AND CARS DRIVING BY (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI CITIZEN FROM BASRA, MOHAMMED HASSAN, SAYING: "Why won't I vote? Because I have no faith in people (running for the elections). Those we elected, what have they done? The same thing. Look at the garbage, the filth. Where are the projects? The previous government's projects, where are they? VARIOUS OF CANDIDATE POSTERS ON PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE ACROSS ROAD (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI CITIZEN FROM BASRA, MAJED HAMID, SAYING: "To be honest, depending on the percentage of the independent (candidates), if people participate in support of a good percentage of independent candidates, then God willing, we will accomplish something for Iraq, God willing." BAGHDAD, IRAQ (OCTOBER 9, 2021) (REUTERS) SECURITY FORCES STANDING IN FRONT OF POLLING STATION AHEAD OF OCTOBER 10 ELECTIONS ARMED MEMBER OF SECURITY FORCES STANDING MEMBER OF SECURITY FORCES HOLDING WEAPON AND LOOKING ON ARMED MEMBER OF SECURITY FORCES STANDING IN FRONT OF POLLING STATION
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2021 13:40
- Keywords: Baghdad Basra Elections Iraq Parliament Polling stations Preview Voters Youth
- Location: BAGHDAD AND BASRA, IRAQ
- City: BAGHDAD AND BASRA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Middle East,Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA006EYFQWXZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Security forces drove through the streets of Baghdad on Saturday (October 9), with loud speakers calling on voters to cast their votes in Sunday's (October 10) general election.
Troops were seen standing at the sides of roads, and handing gifts of diaries to drivers to remind them to vote.
"Voting leads to the achievement of your demands," said a recording blasting from the vehicle speakers.
Turnout at the election will show how much faith voters have left in a still young democratic system.
Many Iraqis say they will not vote, having watched established parties they do not trust win successive elections and bring little improvement to their lives.
Groups drawn from the Shi'ite Muslim majority are expected to retain a majority, as has been the case since Saddam Hussein's Sunni-led government was ousted in 2003.
Violent sectarianism is less of a feature of life since Iraq vanquished Islamic State in 2017 with the help of an international military coalition and Iran.
But endemic corruption and mismanagement has meant many people in the country of about 40 million are without work, and lack healthcare, education and electricity.
In 2019, mass anti-government protests swept across Baghdad and the south, toppled a government and forced the current government of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to hold this election six months early.
The government also introduced a new voting law that it says will bring more independent voices into parliament and can help reform. It has been trying to encourage a greater turnout.
(Production: Maher Nazeh, Mohammed Aty, Haider Kadhim, Nadeen Ebrahim, Charlotte Bruneau)
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