The Iraqis' decision on March 7 will be governed by their daily bread and butter issues: job opportunities, water, electricity and safety, Iraqis said.
Dubai: If the results of an internet survey prove to be correct, Iraqis will vote next month for secular candidates mainly, and by far less for religious parties' representatives.
The Iraqis' decision on March 7 will be governed by their daily bread and butter issues: job opportunities, water, electricity and safety, Iraqis said. "Listen to what people are saying on Iraqi television channels and you will easily know that," an Iraqi woman who asked to be identified as Lubna said.
"There are people who can't find jobs for six years now because of their religious sect. They are being discriminated against. They want somebody to provide them jobs on the basis of their being Iraqi citizens [regardless of their sect] and allow them to live a free ad respected life," the young housewife living outside her country told Gulf News.
Almost 45 per cent of Iraqis will vote for secular candidates, according to an internet poll by an Iraqi website based in Amman. At the same time, 32 per cent of the respondents said they will vote for independents, 10 per cent for nationalist candidates, 7 per cent for liberals, 4 per cent for religious candidates and only 3 per cent for those who are running the parliamentary race on the base of their religious sect.
The majority of the 73 respondents, so far, live mainly in Iraq, Jordan and the UAE. Almost all of them are men and in the age group of 41-50 years.
"The Iraqis believe injustice was done by creating political conflict in the name of religion," Mayssoun Al Damluji, spokesperson for Iraqiya bloc headed by former prime minister Eyad Allawi, a secular coalition of which includes Sunnis and Shiites, said in an interview with Gulf News. "There is a sea change against the religious sects in Iraq."
Many Iraqis, from different sects and ethnic backgrounds are complaining of "bias" by the Shiite-led government, accusing it of serving Iran's interest and giving preference to its supporters at the expense of merit.
According to official figures, unemployment in Iraq is around 18 per cent. But unofficially it is around 30 per cent. Iraq's population is estimated at 31 million people.
Also, some press reports estimated that nearly 10 per cent of the labour force in Iraq work part time.
Meanwhile, some Iraqis are talking of vote buying by many candidates, with some offers of almost 50,000 Iraqi Dinars (Dh157.78) for each vote.
"Mosques in Al Anbar province are urging people to cast their votes so that their rights will be guaranteed in the next government," said a Sunni Iraqi woman in her thirties, who also asked not be named. She is from Al Anbar, one of the Sunni-dominated areas.
Earlier, the National Dialogue Front, a Sunni bloc headed by Saleh Al Mutlaq, reversed its decision not to take part in the elections after a parliament committee banned Mutlaq and some other Sunni figures from running due to alleged ties with the banned Baath party.