- Title: Voters across Iraq desperate for change as general election underway
- Date: 10th October 2021
- Summary: NAJAF, IRAQ (OCTOBER 10, 2021) (REUTERS) VOTER DIPPING FINGER IN INK VOTER SUBMITTING ID POLLING STATION WORKER CHECKING VOTER'S ID VOTER REGISTERING VOTER VOTING VOTER DIPPING FINGER IN INK / VOTER CASTING VOTE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VOTER AND EMPLOYEE AT THE NAJAF AIRPORT, HAIDER AL-SAYYED, SAYING: "Today we came to participate in the elections, my family and I, so that we ask for our demands, the population's demand to have early elections. God willing, our participation in the elections is a new path for Iraq, with new faces that we choose, so that we continue to have ambitions for change. God willing, it will all be well." VOTER WITH INK ON FINGER SUBMITTING VOTE VOTERS LOOKING AT LISTS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VOTER AND ACADEMIC, HUSHAM AL-SAYYAB, SAYING: "Iraq is restoring its strategic and regional role. Iraq is restoring its abilities to be a strong partner in the region, and not a hub for conflicts or a place where powers can get even with each other." BAGHDAD, IRAQ (OCTOBER 10, 2021) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WALKING / CHILD HOLDING IRAQI FLAG PEOPLE IN POLLING STATION / FEMALE VOTER WALKING IN TO VOTE POLLING STATION WORKERS SEATED FEMALE VOTER SUBMITTING VOTE AND DIPPING FINGER IN INK BASRA, IRAQ (OCTOBER 10, 2021) (REUTERS) FEMALE VOTERS SEATED IN FRONT OF POLLING STATION HOLDING ID CARDS CITIZENS IN FRONT OF VOTING STATION VARIOUS OF VOTERS WALKING INTO POLLING STATION MOSUL, IRAQ (OCTOBER 10, 2021) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF POLLING STATION SECURITY IN FRONT OF POLLING STATION (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VOTER AND DAILY WAGE WORKER, ALI MAHMOUD ATIYE, SAYING: "I hope the government helps the people, to be beneficial to them, to provide services to the city of Mosul after it was destroyed by Islamic State. We hope the government takes care of us and of the people in general." VOTER REGISTERING MAN WALKING WITH LIST ERBIL, IRAQ (OCTOBER 10, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF VOTER, KURDISH GHAZI SHINA, LOOKING AT LISTS WITH OTHERS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) KURDISH VOTER AND ARTIST, GHAZI SHINA, SAYING: "I have a good feeling about this. In this moment, I feel like I am exercising my national duty. With all happiness and joy, today, I changed my clothes to distinguish myself from others. So today, I expressed myself and with my clothes and my vote. It is a special day in my life, and I am very happy with it." VOTER WALKING INTO POLLING STATION SHINA WALKING INTO POLLING STATION SHINA SUBMITTING VOTE / LOOKING ON FEMALE VOTERS IN POLLING STATION VOTER HOLDING UP FINGER DIPPED IN INK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RETIRED TEACHER AND VOTER, KAMAL MUSTAFA KADER, SAYING: "In our country, the leaders don't' know what democracy is. But this is an attempt. This is an attempt, a hope for change. We wait for all change, and we hope that all our problems end. We will see." ELDERLY WOMAN BEING ESCORTED INTO POLLING STATION PEOPLE IN POLLING STATION VOTERS TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CHRISTIAN VOTER FROM ANKAWA , ERBIL'S MOSTLY CHRISTIAN NEIGHBOURHOOD, RAMZI HANNA, SAYING: "I am optimistic that if Christians elect qualified people, and people who serve, then their future will be better. But if they elect corrupt people, people who are only after their own interested and only want their salary, then those do not serve the society or the Christians." VARIOUS OF VOTERS IN POLLING STATION EXTERIOR OF POLLING STATION QARAQOSH, IRAQ (OCTOBER 10, 2021) (REUTERS) NUN VOTING VOTER CASTING VOTE POLLING STATION
- Embargoed: 24th October 2021 11:29
- Keywords: Baghdad Basra Election Erbil Iraq Mosul Najaf Parliament Reactions
- Location: BAGHDAD, ERBIL, MOSUL, BASRA, QARAQOSH AND NAJAF, IRAQ
- City: BAGHDAD, ERBIL, MOSUL, BASRA, QARAQOSH AND NAJAF, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Middle East,Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001EYKSOQV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Voters across Iraq cast their ballots on Sunday (October 10), a reflection of the needs of a diverse population thirsting for political change.
In Iraq's southern city of Najaf, home to many holy Shi'ite sites, many showed up at polling stations hoping their decisions will usher in a new roadmap for the country's future.
"God willing, our participation in the election opens new path for Iraq, with new faces that we choose", said Haider al-Sayyed, an airport employee.
In Mosul, where parts of the city still lie in ruins since the war to defeat Islamic State ended in 2017, voters hoped the election would accelerate reconstruction in their city.
In the country's northern Kurdistan region, Christians and Iraqi Kurds flocked to the polling stations in its capital Erbil. A Kurdish voter, Ghazi Shina, dressed up in his traditional Kurdish clothes saying he felt proud of exercising his national duty.
"I am optimistic that if Christians elect qualified people, and people who serve them, then their future will be better," said Ramzi Hanna, a Christian voter from Ankawa, Erbil's mostly Christian neighbourhood.
Iraqis were voting on Sunday (October 10) in a general election that many said they would boycott, having lost faith in the democratic system brought in by the U.S.-led invasion of 2003.
The election is being held several months early under a new law designed to help independent candidates - a response to mass anti-government protests two years ago. But the established, armed and Shi'ite Islamist-dominated ruling elite is expected to sweep the vote.
The result will not dramatically alter the balance of power in the country or the wider Middle East, say Iraqi officials, foreign diplomats and analysts.
Nonetheless, some Iraqis were keen to vote in the election - the country's fifth parliamentary vote since 2003 - and are hopeful of change.
(Production: Nadeen Ebrahim, Charlotte Bruneau, Kawa Omar, Wissam al-Okaili, Mohammed Aty, Ahmed Saeed, Abdullah Rasheed)
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