Echo

Friday, December 09, 2005

BAPTISM OF BLOOD

Hi,
The historical elections are upon us. And again the Iraqis are showing their incredible courage. Candidates are being assassinated on daily basis. Even poster workers are being shot and targeted by the dozens. Car bombings and suicide bombings have become almost routine occurrences. Death and intimidation all over the place; but does that stop anybody? Not in the least. The lists of alliances and parties are bewildering. For myself I am still undecided on whom to vote for. I only know the ones that I definitely cannot elect. I don’t think though, that we are going to see any big surprises. The United alliance ( shiaa religious parties) will still get a large vote, though not as large as before. The new thing this time is the change in electoral rules, particularly the reserved seats for provinces which will insure representation for the Sunni parties. I must say that the electoral system is quite interesting, for apart from reserved seats for the provinces there is a considerable number (about 40 seats) reserved for the so-called excess votes which will provide a chance for many smaller groups.

Although I am a religious man, but all religiously based groups are completely out of consideration as far as I am concerned. That leaves the choice between “seculars” such as Allawi, Chalabi, Alusi & etc. There are people I like in many slates and the choice is hard. I know that this is the position of many people like me. My favorites such as Ayad Jamaludin, Mithal Al-Alusi, Laith Kubba and some others are scattered in competing slates. The problem with Allawi is that he is too soft with the ex-baathists and it is feared that he may bring back too many of them to infiltrate security and military organs, which can be very risky. Although he has many good people with him, I don’t think he will fare too well. I think the Iraqi Congress Party slate (Chalabi) will probably do better than most people expect. So whom to vote for? It is really puzzling. Probably I will end up electing Mithaal Al-Alusi, not so much because I think he can do much, but as a salute to a truly honorable man who has sacrificed his two sons and is still up and fighting. A man who is truly free from sectarian prejudice and any other kind of prejudice (being himself a most genuine Sunni from the heart of Anbar province, yet that does not influence him in the least from being fair and just towards everybody). Yes indeed it seems to me that this is the man worthy of my vote.

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