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Sectarian discourse dominates Iraqi election politics

Candidates in Iraq’s upcoming elections continue to engage in a sectarian, rather than, national discourse.
A supporter of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr takes part in a rally, which the participants said was against sectarianism and injustice, in Kut, 150 km (93 miles) southeast of Baghdad, March 16, 2013.    REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3F2NB
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The sectarian, ethnic and party quota system that has dominated the Iraqi government over the past years has led to a number of problems in the country's young democratic experiment. Yet, the main issue is that rather than developing a national discourse, the system has obfuscated political responsibility and produced an excuse-laden discourse centered around sects and party supporters.

In this regard, one must acknowledge that the idea of ​​consensual democracy in a divided society has been ineffectively applied in Iraq. Political consensus and partnership in government should be based on implementing agreements and programs, not the sharing of positions and ministries, converting them into private estates for this or that party or sect. The reality of this situation in Iraq has introduced ambiguous governing concepts into the Iraqi polity.

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