Voters expect from elected members to enhance Iraq economy: Sa’ad al-Motallebi +video

Voters expect from elected members to enhance Iraq economy: Sa’ad al-Motallebi +video


A political analyst tells Press TV that the Iraqi people are quite excited that all decisions are made by themselves and they are taking the first steps in deciding the fate of a local government.  

This is while Iraqi voters have gone to the polling stations across the country to choose 378 provincial council members from more than 8,000 candidates contesting in the first elections since US troops left the country. Around 5,300 polling centers opened at about 07:00 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Saturday and are to close at 05:00 p.m. (1400 GMT). Authorities have tightened security around the country with the help of thousands of military forces.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Sa’ad al-Motallebi, candidate with the National Coalition Alliance from Baghdad, to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: This is the first national elections since the withdrawal of US troops in December 2011. What do you think it means for Iraq?
Al-Motalebi: It is a great occasion. I think there is a big polarization and people are quite excited that all polling centers and all decisions are made by Iraqis and the Iraqis are taking the first steps in deciding the fate of a local government.
This is [an action] to start a local government and to elect the governor of each state in Iraq, so there is a direct link between the people and the candidates.
This is not a parliamentarian election so it is on a different level but it has created quite an exciting event and quite an exciting atmosphere in Baghdad. Everybody is excited to go and I feel that from the messages that I have received. I think there will be great success for a day.
Press TV: Now security has been on the minds of many as Iraqis are heading to the polls today. Do you think sufficient measures have been put in place to ensure stability and security with regards to these polls?
Al-Motalebi: Security, it has been a challenge in Iraq and I think the people of Baghdad and Iraq are used to this challenge. And they are not shy and not afraid of such challenges.

It is unfortunate that some regional countries still insist on interfering in local affairs in Iraq but the people believe in this challenge and believe that their life must go on whatever the consequences are.

Press TV: And as people head to the polls what do you think of the main concerns of an average Iraqi voter is as he casts his ballot?
Al-Motalebi: People are realists here. They want services, they want better electricity, they want better performance from the local government, they want more building. People are now talking about economic performance and talking about how the local government should participate in building local economies and how to proceed with life.

It is not as a political election as one would think, it is more bias towards economics and bias towards way of life and bias towards the services that local person requires of the local government.

Press TV: And right after this in a years time almost there will be parliamentary elections in Iraq. How do you think the elections that are taking place today going to affect what we see coming next year?
Al-Motalebi: This is vital for next parliamentarian election because the performance of the local government and if they can win the hearts and soul of the people of each province through services and through providing care for the community, they would guarantee the performance of the political parties in the parliamentarian elections.
So this is a race towards the majority government that we have promised the people and we would start from this point into providing full services for the people and making sure that State of Law Alliance would be the major party in next year’s election for the parliament.