iraq votes 2014: new electronic voter cards result in fraud, privacy fears and unhappy queues

It sounded like new technology with great potential. However for many of the Iraqi voters, who waited in high temperatures for three hours to cast their ballots while the electronic voter ID system malfunctioned, things didn’t quite turn out that way. Fraud and privacy were also issues, election supervisors say. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

iraq votes 2014: kurdistan must stop ‘crying wolf’ about secession – until after elections

Syrian Kurdish commentator Hoshnag Ose discusses possible options for Iraq’s Kurds after the upcoming elections. Should they support the next Prime Minister of Iraq? Or should they stop crying wolf about secession and finally strike out for independence? by Hoshnag Ose in Brussels more

iraq votes 2014: lack of cash in iraqi kurdistan – but campaign coffers unaffected

The semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan has accused Baghdad of setting up a financial blockade – they have not received their share of the federal budget for several months now and many government staff remain unpaid. However the lack of cash doesn’t seem to be affecting election campaigning in the region. by Hiwa Barznjy in Erbil more

iraq votes 2014: politicians prefer to bet on multi-cultural baghdad

As a province, Baghdad has the biggest population and therefore gets the biggest share of representative seats in Iraq’s Parliament. And unlike in other provinces, the population is far from homogenous. Campaigning is particularly fierce here and results in the capital city could provide insights into who voters in more uniform provinces will choose. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

iraq votes 2014: religion and vandalism cause campaign delays

Campaigning for Iraq’s general election, due to be held next week, started on April 1. However on the streets of Baghdad posters are still being put up and some candidates appear to only just have started campaigning. Reasons for the ongoing activity and the delays include bad weather, religious omens and gangs of vandals, paid to roam the city streets tearing down one lot of posters, so they can put up another. by Ibrahim Saleh in Baghdad more

dreams of art come true for syrian kurds in iraqi refugee camp

The Domiz refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan is home to more than 60,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict. But not all the stories here are sad ones. For one Syrian Kurdish woman, her dreams of exhibiting her art, have finally come true. by Sazan M.Mandalawi in Dohuk more

iraq votes 2014: in basra, fastest way to voters’ hearts, through their stomachs

Basra candidates in the upcoming Iraqi general election are holding grand banquets to win over voters. But while the province’s poor are eating well for a day, in the long run they are suffering: All that banqueting has almost doubled local prices for meat. by Saleem al-Wazzan in Basra more

iraq votes 2014: kurdish couldn’t care less about general elections

While the rest of Iraq prepares for the general elections at the end of April, the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan seems far more focused on provincial elections. The reasons? Apart from shifts in power and influence internally, Iraqi Kurdish politicians in Baghdad may well be feeling as despondent as so many ordinary Iraqis. They fear Baghdad will never change and that they can have no real impact. by Hayman Hassan in Sulaymaniyah more

iraq votes 2014: fortune tellers and political spells - some candidates will win election by magic

As the date for Iraq’s general elections nears, Karbala’s magic men and fortune tellers report they’re doing a roaring trade. Candidates are coming to them for predictions, special political rituals and magic talismans they can wear to woo voters and at election rallies. by Ibrahim al-Jibouri in Karbala more

trench warfare: syrians and iraqis protest the kurdish ‘berlin wall’

To better protect their borders, authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan are digging a large trench in the area bordering Syria. Locals are protesting about it, saying that links with family and friends in neighbouring towns will be severed and economic opportunities lost; some are already describing it as a Kurdish \'Berlin Wall\'. by Abdul-Khaleq Dosky in Dohuk more
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