This Sunday, Iraqis vote for a new parliament. Our Observers from diverse regions and political views talk to us about things they’ve seen during the campaign that are amusing, surprising or just plain irritating.
The parliamentary elections on March 7 are the second such polls since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. A key test for the country's fledgling democracy, they take place against a backdrop of rising violence and the looming withdrawal of US troops.
Posters sprayed with red ink in Baghdad. Photo: Ali al-Mousawi.
Iraqi law reserves a quarter of parliament seats for women. It’s a good thing, even more so because the number of Iraqi women nowadays dwarfs the number of Iraqi men. Iraqis joke on the subject, saying that the ex-prime minister Iyad Allaoui’s party list has the most chance of winning the elections because it has the most beautiful candidates!"
Posters of candidates in Hilla, in the centre of Iraq. Photo: Ali al-Zubedi, published on the site of the Institute for war and peace reporting.
A poster for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's party list in Karbala. Photo: Metrography, published on the Institute for war and peace reporting website.
Mudafar al-Madfai, “Abu Ali”, is a retired military officer living in Baghdad.
A mess of election posters in Baghdad. Photo: Ali al-Mousawi.
Posters torn up, in Baghdad. Photo: Ali al-Mousawi.
Hawagin Mulla Amin is a writer and a professor at the University of Al-Sulaymaniya in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Supporters dance the traditional Kurdish Halparke at the foot of the old citadel of Kirkuk. Photo: Hawre Khalid, published on the Institute for war and peace reporting website.