Next month Iraqis will vote for provincial councils. These are the first local elections since 2013. As in previous campaigns the ruling parties are cheating.
The political parties are committing their usual range of abuses. One of the most common is to use government money to promote their candidates. Civil society organizations and the Election Commission have reported this is already happening. A new abuse is buying voter cards. A parliamentarian said that lists are offering 75,000-100,000 dinars for each card. A Shabak Hashd unit was confiscating cards in Ninewa.
In the last round of balloting which took place in 2021 for parliament there was massive fraud. That included not only buying up voter cards, threatening voters and offering jobs but working with members of the Election Commission to fix the vote. The parties are in steep competition with each other because the number of votes they get determines how many positions they will receive in the government. That in turn determines how much they can steal from the state to enrich themselves and doll out in patronage to maintain their supporters. Since the Election Commission is under political influence there is no one to stop this from happening and just adds to the overall corruption within the country
Jiyad, Sajad, “Iraq’s Provincial Elections: Electoral Dynamics & Political Implications,” Institute of Regional & International Studies, 11/26/23
Al Rafidain, “AIN Network: Violations In Election Campaigns Include Exploitation Of Public Funds And Disruption Of Propaganda,” 11/16/23
- “The Election Commission In Iraq Expects A Widespread Boycott Of The Provincial Council Elections,” 11/29/23
- “Informed Sources: Political Blocs Buy Voter Cards And Intimidate Them To Obtain Their Votes,” 11/29/23
- “The Shabak Militia Collects Voter Cards East Of Mosul Under The Pretext Of Security Checks,” 11/4/23
Rudaw, “Iraq takes measures to combat voter blackmail,” 11/29/23