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Divisive sectarian rhetoric dominates lead-up to Iraq vote

As elections approach in Iraq, sectarian rhetoric has distracted voters from more serious issues.
An Iraqi man walks past an electoral campaign poster along a street in the capital Baghdad on April 3, 2014. Campaigning for Iraq's April 30 general election opened, with Maliki bidding for a third term as his government grapples with the country's worst bloodshed in years. AFP PHOTO/ALI AL-SAADI        (Photo credit should read ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images)
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The practice of taking advantage of sectarian and religious slogans is still common on the Iraqi electoral scene. This practice is clearly shown in electoral banners and the statements issued by political powers, despite all their talk of “national unity” and “social solidarity.”

Statements made March 30 by Hanan al-Fatlawi, a parliament member for the State of Law Coalition, have stirred controversy. She called for “equality in death” between Sunnis and Shiites.

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