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Iraqi elections: all talk, no walk

Many political blocs have dismissed the Iraqi voter as unable to analyze complex and detailed political programs.
A man looks at an election campaign poster of Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani in Baghdad April 3, 2014. Iraq's parliamentary election is scheduled for April 30. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTR3JUTM
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With the launch earlier this month of campaigns for the April 30 parliamentary elections, Iraq is back to debating the fact that none of the political blocs has put forward an electoral program or platform. The blocs, misunderstanding the concept of a political program, have instead reduced them to vague slogans.

The Iraqi political forces competing in the elections justify the absence of real programs by asserting that Iraq remains in transition, so there are real differences over the basis of the political process — such as the Constitution, government formation, the decision-making process and the relationship between the central government and the provinces and the regions. They claim that this reality forces them to take positions on these particular issues, rather than presenting political programs. For example, some campaigns are sloganeering on amending the Constitution, while others' slogans invoke government formation by the political majority, decentralization and the war on terror.

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