Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iraqi violence and the upcoming elections | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Those who attempted to assassinate Iyad Allawi in Najaf, earlier this month, miscalculated. If they were his rivals in the elections, they ought to have realized the attempt would increase his popularity instead of weakening him. If they were opposed to the entire political process and were seeking to halt the democratic course, they ought to have understood their choices of target and location were mistaken.

Iyad Allawi and his Iraqi National List are a formidable opponent in the upcoming elections. The list does not represent sectarian tendencies but a number of national groups. Sectarian forces fear the rise of this current, represented by Allawi, because it might create a replacement to their sectarian quota system. They want an Iraq made of a single hue and a single section. In fact, their goal is to establish a theocracy which will be catastrophic for the country and bring about its breakup and a civil war.

The next two weeks might witness an escalation of terrorist activity, as the past few days have seen an increase in violence. As the date of the election nears, terrorist forces and the remnants of Saddam’s regime and international terrorism will step up their efforts to sabotage the vote. This is due to the fact that all political, social and sectarian groups intend to take part in the elections and because the new parliament will represent all these factions. Peaceful elections will mark the biggest blow to the extremists and terrorists since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Resorting to violence and targeting political foes is reserved for bandits and bares no relation to democracy. Those who attack their opponents using insulting and violent language or physical violence do not believe in democracy, the transition of power and the recognition of others. Al Jaafari’s government needs to call for an immediate investigation into the attempt against Allawi, especially given the incident was caught on camera. The results of the probe should be revealed at once in order to uncover the perpetrators and prevent them from carrying out similar heinous deeds.